LEFT TURN: Hedi Slimane is big in Japan. Specialty and department stores there catapulted his collections for Saint Laurent to the forefront of Japanese daily The Senken’s biannual rankings of today’s hottest and most powerful designer brands.

Saint Laurent moved to first from fifth place for international men’s wear and to second from fourth place in international women’s wear behind Celine. Rounding out the top five for women’s were Stella McCartney, Acne and Dior, and for men’s, Acne, Lanvin, Carven and Comme des Garçons.

This story first appeared in the March 4, 2013 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.

Separately, YSL said it would take over a 17th-century townhouse on the Left Bank of Paris for its ready-to-wear ateliers and “salons de couture.” The development is not a prelude to launching high fashions, a YSL spokesman said, while noting that Slimane already produces and presents handmade dresses as part of his rtw collections.

The ateliers, where Slimane designs and does fittings while in Paris, are currently located at Artemis headquarters on the Place François 1er, a temporary arrangement. Corporate headquarters are to remain on Avenue George V. The principal design studio will remain in Los Angeles, where Slimane is based.

L’Hôtel de Sénecterre is located at 24 Rue de l’Université. It spans some 22,600 square feet and YSL said it would move there in October.

The relocation is an important step of the retro branding process, considering the significance of the 7th arrondissement in the history of YSL. Slimane chose to call collections and stores Saint Laurent to symbolize the principles of youth, freedom and modernity that inspired the creation of Saint Laurent Rive Gauche rtw in 1966.

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