PARIS — Hedi Slimane’s makeover of Yves Saint Laurent is gathering steam — and will extend to its moniker.
This story first appeared in the June 21, 2012 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
WWD has learned that the designer plans to change the name of the fashion house from Yves Saint Laurent to Saint Laurent Paris.
The new branding is expected to be introduced in the coming months and should be in place by the time Slimane’s first designs for Saint Laurent, for the spring 2013 season, hit the sales floor.
It is understood the YSL logo — a French cultural icon and a feature on an array of products, from shoes to lipsticks — will not disappear. Additional details about the re-branding could not be learned at press time.
When YSL revealed in March that Slimane would succeed Stefano Pilati at the creative helm, he was given “total creative responsibility for the brand image and all its collections.”
According to sources, Slimane is keen to thrust Saint Laurent into a new era, while recapturing the impulses that inspired the founder to launch the Saint Laurent Rive Gauche ready-to-wear line in 1966 — among them youth, freedom and modernity.
The first Rive Gauche boutique opened at 21 Rue de Tournon, on the Left Bank. At the time, Saint Laurent said: “It’s just as I want…wild colors and very modern. Black glass for the entrance, a steel pillar and dark orange carpeting, and one huge window.”
Slimane, who is locating his creative studio in Los Angeles, where he has based himself since exiting Dior Homme in 2007, is also said to be working on new store concepts for YSL.
He has declined all interview requests since arriving in the job.
The Saint Laurent house has characterized those two collections as “transitional.” Slimane intends to make his first major fashion statement to the global press this fall when he presents the women’s spring collection on the runway during Paris Fashion Week, scheduled for Sept. 25 to Oct. 3.
WWD has also learned that Slimane has secured an iconic and impressive venue — the Grand Palais — for the showroom, scheduled for June 28 to July 4. Previously, YSL collections were sold to buyers at its Rue d’Artois space.
The designer, who electrified men’s fashion during his seven-year stint at Dior Homme, first came to international attention as the designer of YSL Rive Gauche Homme in the late Nineties. In recent years, he devoted himself to art making and commercial photography, the latter of which he is allowed to pursue under his contract with YSL.
Streamlining the name of a fashion house from the founding designer is not uncommon in European fashion — as Chanel and Dior, among others, attest. However, given the strong emotional attachment many in the industry have to the founder, who died in 2008 at the age of 71, the name change could raise some eyebrows.