Upcoming YSL Lines for Buyers’ Eyes Only

The women’s cruise and spring men’s wear collections, the first designs by new creative director Hedi Slimane, will not be shown to the fashion press.

PARIS — The international fashion press will have to wait several more months before catching a glimpse of the first Yves Saint Laurent designs by new creative director Hedi Slimane, WWD has learned.

This story first appeared in the May 22, 2012 issue of WWD.  Subscribe Today.

Or they’ll have to go into retail.

Only buyers will be invited to see the women’s cruise and spring men’s wear collections, a YSL spokeswoman confirmed Monday.

Precise dates for the selling campaigns have yet to be determined, but should fall toward the end of June or early July. The spokeswoman described the two collections as “transitional.”

Slimane intends to make his first major fashion statement at the storied house this fall when he presents the women’s spring collection on the runway during Paris Fashion Week, scheduled for Sept. 25 to Oct. 3.

The designer, who electrified men’s fashion during his seven-year stint at Dior Homme, was appointed YSL’s new designer in February, succeeding Stefano Pilati. He first came to international attention as the designer of YSL Rive Gauche Homme in the late Nineties.

An exacting designer with strong ties to pop culture, Slimane is said to be working on the YSL collections and retail concepts in Los Angeles, where he relocated after exiting Dior Homme to pursue a career in commercial photography and art making.

His return to fashion design, along with Raf Simons’ appointment as Dior’s new couturier, promises to captivate the Paris fashion scene — and perhaps steal thunder from other major names that show in the French capital.

An art history graduate from the Ecole du Louvre, Slimane emerged from fashion’s shadows during his first stint at YSL, founded half a century ago this year. Hired as an assistant in fashion marketing at YSL in 1997 and then quickly promoted to designer, Slimane revved up the label’s men’s wear with androgynous tailoring: leather trenchcoats, pinch-waist suits and plunging shirts.

Slimane resigned from YSL in 2000 to pursue exclusive negotiations with its parent, then known as Gucci Group, for the launch of his own label. He ended up signing on with luxury rival Dior, embarking on an ambitious project that spanned glitzy fashion shows and minimalist boutiques.