Hedi Slimane took over the role of head designer of Yves Saint Laurent in March of this year. And he is making some major changes. It seems a huge understatement to say he’s raised eyebrows; these changes have shocked the fashion world.
First of all, you have probably already heard today of the news that the name YSL is no more. I know, right? What. The name Yves Saint Laurent is being changed to Saint Laurent Paris. All collections from Spring Summer 2013 onwards will be released under the name Saint Laurent Paris. The YSL logo, which is so well-known and so loved, was a huge question mark for me personally. What’s going to happen to it? According to news reports, the YSL logo will remain on certain beauty products and accessories. But even so, that logo is so iconic – it shouldn’t just be cast aside in terms of marketing, promotion and design, surely?
Secondly, Hedi has decided to bar all media from the Spring Summer collection show coming up. He refuses to showcase the collection to the public, and instead the guestlist will only include buyers selected from a list of high-end boutiques.
So, I thought I’d weigh in on these changes.
Rebranding a label with fifty years of history associated with it, seems to me to be rude. YSL has such an incredible history. It’s namesake, original designer Yves Saint Laurent, began the label in the 1960’s. I might be seeing this totally the wrong way, but it seems like a massive ‘screw you’ to everything Yves Saint Laurent achieved in his life. Plus, Saint Laurent Paris… doesn’t have the same ring to it. It sounds less distinguished somehow. So does the abbreviation, SLP.
Regarding the media ban at the upcoming collection show; making the masses wait just to see your collection doesn’t do you any favours, I think. Why shake up the system and remove all media access? It’s just how it’s done, it works. And changing the game in that way, isn’t a good thing. It’s just restirring the old ‘fashion people think they’re better than you’ pot. That pot doesn’t need any more stirring. Why wouldn’t you want as many people as possibly to enjoy and talk about your collection? I don’t really understand.
I’m not sure I can find any positives. The entire name change came about to try and modernise the label and give it a more youthful aesthetic. I’m not sure it’s going to work. How do you feel about the ‘new and improved’ SLP? Long live YSL, I say.