Sunday, August 5, 2012


From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia: 
Hedi Slimane is a fashion designer. He is currently the creative director for Saint Laurent Paris (formerly Yves Saint Laurent).

A few weeks ago it has been announced that Hedi Slimane will not just show his first collection as the new creative designer next spring/summer but also changed the name of the parisian tradition-rich label Yves Saint Laurent in Saint Laurent Paris. 

A small debate...

It's no wonder the attention is getting big, the voices of critism are getting loud. The YSL logo is one of the representatives of the french fashion history such as the double C of Chanel. But what evokes much outrage at first sight, turns out to be a very skilful move at second glance. In case of disappointment of Slimanes first collection the big name YSL won't be affected completely, it can also be dismissed as "the new, edgy language" of the label. And if -and I believe so- the collection will be convincing all along the line together with the rebranding it will be an even greater success. Obviously Slimane is providing a unique possibility, a platform for showing his own, significant vision. And after the death of Yves Henri Donat Mathieu-Saint-Laurent himself the rebranding idea of Hedi is clearly the next milestone in the history of YSL/SLP (a milestone he already set with rebranding formerly known Christian Dior Monsier in Dior Homme, by the way).

The close observation of the “new” name proves itself as a bunching of clever moves aswell. YSL remains as logo on beauty products, shoes and accessoires. In other words - the most present products for the wide clientel (and probably also the best sellers). Secondly the name is derived from the first choice of name for the brand. In 1966 YSL/SLP was the first fashion house launching a ready-to-wear collection, a revolutionary move in the french fashion industry. Now Hedi Slimane wants to dig out the old fonts and other aesthetic means of the early days of the brand aswell.

“Slimane is scandalising the Paris fashion world with his audacity - and in doing so, staying true the codes of the house.”  (

All in all the rebranding is a step back to the roots and a move towards a new vision at the same time. 

Even Pierre Bergé, who founded the company together with Yves himself has been asked about the changes. “I am very happy. Anything that makes the house more Saint Laurent is welcome,” he told WWD. So in some point Hedi Slimane is not just trying to start with a clean slate but also has now even more pressure weighing heavily on him. 

Launch of SAINT LAURENT RIVE GAUCHE store in 1966

It's obvious that the renaming is a big step in many respects. It can be interpreted as a kind of safety because of the tremendous responsibility of taking over a tradition-steeped

  brand. Or the contrary - and we are just underestimating what might will be created by Slimane and he has such a clear vision and a healthy dose of self consciousness that it just has to be underlined by a visual symbol. However we are curious about Mr. Slimanes first SLP collection and are somehow pretty sure it will either strike like a bomb or... strike like a bomb.

Hedi Slimane / Yves Henri Donat Mathieu-Saint-Laurent

A little something to remember Yves Saint Laurent, “What's my Line” panel game show from the sixties:

Photos: Getty/FTWN/Foundation Pierre Bergé Yves Saint Laurent

Text by Zsuzsanna Toth

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