Not Much Yves Left In This Saint Laurent.
Jun 08 2015
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.
The Luxe Chronicles
* The Saint Laurent advert featured above was recently banned by the U.K. Advertising Standard's Authority for using an unhealthily underweight model.