This week Yves Saint Laurent announced it is changing its name, as Hedi Slimane made his mark on the iconic global brand as new Creative Director.
The new signature ‘Saint Laurent Paris’ will be used for the ready-to-wear collection, moving away from the iconic and infamous acronym ‘YSL’, which we’ve all become accustomed to, whether part of the fashion set or not.
Apparently Slimane has used YSL’s fashion history as creative inspiration, looking back to 1966 when the fashion house was known as ‘Saint Laurent Rive Gauche’, as his main source of reasoning behind the re-brand. As you can imagine, this sudden name change has caused a stir with the fashion set, raising the question as to whether Slimane gone too far, when he hasn’t even completed a season?
To change a brand name of such stature takes a powerful, headstrong individual who has the audacity to send a message around the world that he’s doing things his way. Who can fault that? After all, in 1966 Saint Laurent did the same when he launched the YSL ready-to-wear line.
I still haven’t come around to the idea of ‘SLP’ (it doesn’t quite roll off the tongue) although I admire his determination to make the brand his own. The 1966 brand ‘Rive Gauche’ defiantly gave off more of an air of romantic Parisian chic, which I’m not convinced ‘SLP’ achieves. After announcing the brand will move its creative studio from Paris to Los Angeles, I can’t help but think the rich heritage the brand has built over 50 years is losing its ‘exclusivity’.
The rebrand will be rolled out over the coming months, and I’m sure after time everyone will come around to enjoy his new creative direction.
By Francesca Gamble on June 29th, 2012