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Not Much Yves Left In This Saint Laurent.

Jun 08 2015

 Yves Saint Laurent ad:Elle UK mag

One of the first things Hedi Slimane did when he was named creative director of Yves Saint Laurent was to drop the "Yves" from the brand name. In hindsight, it was a very good decision, if not for the brand, then for the man who founded it.

Saint Laurent, the man, elevated women to the status of goddess. He filled his runways with impossibly gorgeous, regal women who strode confidently forward with the imperiousness of a monarch. Saint Laurent, the brand, prefers emaciated* waifs who lie passively on the floor and look like they're about to be carted off to rehab or worst yet, the morgue.

Saint Laurent, the man, embraced pret-a-porter and trousers, clothing for modern women with independent, vibrant, fast paced lives and little time for fussy couture fittings. Saint Laurent, the brand, rummaged through Courtney Love's wardrobe from her drug-fuelled grunge days and proclaimed it "new".

The more I think about it, the more I think the removal of "Yves" from the brand name was a good thing. Every brand needs to be updated periodically to appeal to a new generation of consumers. The trick is to modernize it without destroying it. I'm not entirely certain Mr. Slimane understands the difference.


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* The Saint Laurent advert featured above was recently banned by the U.K. Advertising Standard's Authority for using an unhealthily underweight model.


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Dear Little White Cabbage:

France is trying to legislate the issue but the advert was originally published in Elle UK. I have not seen it in any French magazines (at least not to date).

You're right to reference Saint Laurent's parent company. I find it more than a tad hypocritical on the part of Kering to be promoting women's health issues on the one hand and giving Slimane carte blanche to use clearly emaciated models on the other.

Thank you for taking the time to comment.


Omg!!! where did she get those legs? There's no difference between the size of her thighs and calves...and almost the ankles as well. Not to mention the bony chest. Isn't there some French law against models starved to deprivation levels?
Maybe Kering or Pierre Berge can just sell off one of Yves old antiques and pay the fine then. Just sayin'.

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The Luxe Chronicles is a collection of interviews, profiles and musings on various aspects of the luxury industry and occasionally, a rant on our celebrity obsessed culture and the dumbing down of our collective sense of style and esthetic.

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