What’s in a name? For Yves Saint Laurent, a name stands for an iconic designer who led the evolution of women’s fashion by introducing trademark looks such as trouser suits, the smoking jacket, and the Mondrian dress.
The first designer to produce a ready-to-wear collection, YSL’s signature, interlocking initials have become a symbol of Parisian chic and have encompassed the international brand since its inception. A recent announcement after Hedi Slimane (pictured below) took the reins as the creative director is changing the brand’s name to Saint Laurent Paris brings our opening questioning up once again. So what’s in a new name?
Slimane’s plans to move forward with the name change has raised eyebrows in the fashion community; however, the former creative director of Dior Homme is steadfast in his decision and his intention to have total creative control over the brand image.
While the brand’s bags, shoes, and cosmetics will remain unchanged with the old logo intact, Slimane plans to revert back to the company’s original Saint Laurent Rive Gauche clothing line, starting with his upcoming designs for womenswear.
Many would argue that it’s a bold move to change the brand’s initials and labeling to SLP before debuting his first collection at Paris Fashion Week this September. Although it may seem like Slimane is radicalizing the fashion house, at the heart of things, he seems to be following in the footsteps of the late Yves Saint Laurent, a man that many would say was one to make his own mark.
The change is endorsed by former YSL partner in life and business, Pierre Bergé who has been infamously critical of some of the house’s past creative directors. His approval is warranted given the fact that Slimane’s strategy involves reverting the label back to the way it was in 1966, during the late designer’s glory days.
With the fashion world watching, Slimane has already taken steps towards the re-branding and only time will tell how his efforts are received.