Hedi Slimane, Yves Saint Laurent’s newly-appointed creative director, has provoked a public outcry when, keen to “thrust Saint Laurent into a new era modern”, he announced the decision to remove the founder of the brand’s first name from the famous moniker.
The French house will be rebranded Saint Laurent Paris, although the iconic YSL logo will remain the same. This move, however daring, is not uncommon as the majority of the major fashion houses go by a singular surname – Versace, Gucci, Chanel, Prada.
Slimane, who replaced Stefano Pilati after leaving his post of creative director for Dior Homme, was given “total creative responsibility for the brand image and all its collections”, and said that this rebranding was necessary to “recapture 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.”
Yves Saint Laurent have not released an official statement regarding the change, while Pierre Berge, Saint Lauren’t lover and business partner of 50 years, is yet to comment, but the internet community has, however, expressed its discontant: ‘It’s like when they changed Opal Fruits to Starburst only 10 times worse,’ British vintage clothing store Rokit Tweeted, while style website Fashion156.com stated the new name ‘sounds like a chain of downmarket budget hotels’. Other comments include “YSL is iconic. So why reinvent the wheel?! ” and “This will be something they will live very much to regret and it is an insult to the late great Yves Saint Laurent.”
Slimane, who is also working on a new store concept for the brand, will show his debut womenswear collection during Paris Fashion Week this September, and the new branding is reportedly set to be unveiled shortly beforehand. Finger’s crossed for a fresh and modern take on tailoring, Slimane’s trademark.