Yves Saint Laurent No More...

Zina Tasreen , 23 Jun 2012
Yves Saint Laurent/YSL label
THE label…

Yep, the name of the storied fashion house is being changed ‒ can you believe??? Read on for all the deets!

Hedi Slimane
Hedi Slimane

I suppose you all know that the maverick Hedi Slimane has taken over from Stefano Pilati as the creative director of Yves Saint Laurent in March this year, where he previously ‒ from 1998 to 2000 ‒ served as the menswear head.

Yves Saint Laurent and Pierre Bergé
Yves Saint Laurent and Pierre Bergé, co-founder of the fashion house

I guess he really took it to heart when Pierre Bergé, Monsieur Saint Laurent’s business and life partner called him out as “one of the YSL family”, ‘cos Hedi’s now aligning the fashion house close to its glorious roots.

Yves Saint Laurent
Yves Saint Laurent sketching a masterpiece…

Monsieur Saint Laurent is by and large credited for introducing ready-to-wear (or, prêt-à-porter) line in womenswear in 1966 under the name of Saint Laurent Rive Gauche. Hedi, in 2012, has decided to go back to that name, but in keeping with the times, has replaced the ‘Rive Gauche’, as Paris of that era was fondly called, with simply ‘Paris’, as the French capital’s referred to as now. Not only that, he intends to use wording and fonts from that time. The rebranding is “restoring the house to its truth, purity and essence – and taking it into a new era” while “respecting the original principles and ideals.” But ‘Yves’, along with the iconic YSL logo, will stick around: the full ‘Yves Saint Laurent’ name will be used for “institutional purposes” and the logo will remain the same.

@JimShi
Jim Shi, a reputed fashion writer, was one of the very first sources to confirm the name change, via Twitter

The new Saint Laurent Paris branding will come into effect when Hedi’s first collection of his new tenure, that is the Spring/Summer 2013 set, hits the stores. We’re looking at late this year or early next year.

Yves Saint Laurent and Pierre Bergé
Yves Saint Laurent and Pierre Bergé

And Hedi has the wholehearted blessing of Monsieur Bergé who says is “very happy” about the makeover. “Anything that makes the house more Saint Laurent is welcome.” All very well, but the following comment of his sounded very uncourteous: “I am happy that Stefano Pilati is gone, just as I was happy when Tom Ford left.”

Yves Saint Laurent
Yves Saint Laurent

Right, here’s my two cents on this matter… It is a rather risky move by Hedi to be renaming a label which has become a French cultural heritage. I mean it’s YSL all the way in consumers’ minds; what do they refer the brand, in short, now: YSL or SLP? Plus, it’s utterly possible that people would think of Saint Laurent Paris as a diffusion line of Yves Saint Laurent. Needless consumer confusion. But it’s quite clever of him, too, to be leveraging on the nostalgia surrounding Monsieur Saint Laurent’s glory days. Now he has to deliver, big time. Ah, I’m excited… !

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