Former Yves Saint Laurent designer Slimane sues Kering

French designer Hedi Slimane appears at the end of his Spring/Summer 2013 women's ready-to-wear fashion show for French fashion house Saint Laurent Paris during Paris fashion week October 1, 2012. REUTERS/Gonzalo Fuentes

PARIS (Reuters) - Former Yves Saint Laurent star designer Hedi Slimane has launched a lawsuit against his former employer Kering, the company and other sources told Reuters on Wednesday.

Kering confirmed the lawsuit in a statement and said it concerned Slimane’s non-competition obligation. Kering said it had lifted this clause at the end of Slimane’s contract, freeing him from this potential constraint.

It added that Slimane - who has designed clothes for celebrities including singer David Bowie and actor Brad Pitt - is now requesting that this clause still be applied and that the financial compensation for it be paid.

Kering said the disagreement does not alter the group’s recognition for Slimane’s contribution, who it said has reformed the fashion house during his four-year tenure as creative director.

Reporting by Geert De Clercq; Editing by Elaine Hardcastle