On Tuesday, Celine dropped a summer 2022 menswear collection that featured what at first glance could pass for a pair of JNCO jeans. That would have been notable for any storied French maison, but for Celine, the move was practically seismic. The house’s artistic director is Hedi Slimane—aka the designer credited with almost singlehandedly popularizing the skinny jeans-style silhouette for men.
Slimane first experimented with what would become his early career signature in his fall 2000 (and final) collection for Yves Saint Laurent, “Black Tie.” But it really took hold when he took control of Dior Homme in 2001, where he made his name synonymous with several slim silhouettes that even attracted female clientele and promptly filtered its way down to inspire mass fashion. When Slimane popped returned to Saint Laurent in 2012 with control of both men’s and womenswear, even then his offerings were notably skin-tight. His silhouettes have loosened up since he joined Celine, but never to this extent.
Titled “Cosmic Cruiser,” the spring 2022 men’s collection was an homage to motorsports. The digital show kicked off with shirtless professionals from the FMX4EVER team showing off on ramps surrounding the runway on the sandy shores of Grand Gaou, an island off the coast of southern France. In keeping with that inspiration, Slimane offered plenty of leather, from chokers to motorcycle jacket-style vests. He even threw in a pair of tight leather pants.
Though you wouldn’t know those skinnies were in the mix if your only glimpse of the collection came from Twitter, where many couldn’t get over Slimane’s sudden pivot. After all, the high-fashion JNCOs were not an anomaly, unlike the single pair of baggy jeans in his most recent showing. There was also a pair of black jeans worn through at the heels, as well as an apparently tie-dyed version of the silhouette. While some reactions, like “Brb, need a bike,” were positive, they also included “I’m shaking.”
If they didn’t come from Slimane, the jeans wouldn’t be entirely out of leftfield. Gen Z has made the baggy pants seemingly omnipresent everywhere as of late, to the point that the typically trend-averse Angelina Jolie has embraced the wide leg. Then again, perhaps it’s just a logical continuation of Slimane’s attempts to keep up with the youth. It’s entirely possible he found out about the trend on TikTok.