Thursday, 21 June 2012

Yves Saint Laurent no more

Highly regarded as one of the finest names in high fashion luxury, Yves Saint Laurent is on par with the likes of Chanel, Louis Vuitton and Versace as one of the biggest players in the fashion industry, with a colourful history to match. But today it was revealed that YSL will be getting a radical makeover under new creative director Hedi Slimane, including- controversially- a brand new name.  Yves Saint Laurent will now be known as Saint Laurent Paris.

Yves Saint Laurent

Originally, the YSL ready-to-wear collection was named Saint Laurent River Gauche when Mr Saint Laurent himself launched it in 1966. Considered a genius in the fashion world, he is the man we women have to thank for trousers, tuxedo suits, transparent fabrics and ethnic models on the catwalk as well as rendering RTW reputable in a world where haute-couture ruled. In 1957 aged just 21, he took the helm at the House of Dior after Christian Dior succumbed to a massive heart attack. His designs were a huge success and his career was flourishing. However in 1960 he was conscripted into the French army and although he lasted only 20 days, Saint Laurent was left forever damaged by what he experienced there, recognising years later that it was this, and his subsequent firing from Dior, that led to drug addiction and mental health problems in later life. Despite his troubles, he was still a genius who arguably made more of an impact on fashion than anyone else in recent times, with the exception perhaps, in my opinion, of Coco Chanel and Lagerfeld. So how would he feel if he was alive today, with his classic, distinguished and acclaimed label getting a name change?

Hedi Slimane

Slimane has said that although the brand will now be known as Saint Laurent Paris, the change will be implemented between now and the time his debut collection as creative director- S/S 13- hits shops and that the original name Yves Saint Laurent will still be used for "institutional purposes". The classic YSL logo that is so easily recognisable will remain with Slimane apparently vowing not to change this or any fonts or recognisable features within YSL marketing and branding.

However, it appears this is not enough to placate outraged fashion lovers and fashion bloggers all over the world. YSL has been trending on Twitter on and off all day (21st June) and many have taken to the site to air their opinion on this controversial makeover. The general consensus is that it is a massive mistake and a betrayal to the legacy of a great man and great luxury label. 

Fuelling the fire is that fact that despite changing the name to Saint Laurent Paris, the design studio and creative team will no longer actually be based in Paris, instead, Slimane has relocated to Los Angeles.  So shouldn't that be Saint Laurent L.A then? Or are we all agreed that it will forever be Yves Saint Laurent to us? 

1 comment:

  1. This actually really annoyed me, i thought there was no need for the name change and then to top it off it will be based in LA. Thats like loosing the heritage of the whole brand and it's just plain stupid! xo


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