Few bits of fashion news have elicited more criticism than YSL’s announcement that Hedi Slimane would re-brand the Yves Saint Laurent ready to wear line as Saint Laurent Paris. Fans of the brand were quick to post their strong reactions all over the internet and the consensus seemed to be that this was a bad idea. The new logo, once revealed was criticized as well.
Slimane, the man behind the the name change (as well as the complete redesign of YSL’s brick and mortar stores–watch that space) tells Vanity Fair this month that he thinks the criticism has to do with people failing to understand that the new branding is inspired by the original branding used by the label’s namesake back in 1966 when the ready to wear line was first established.
As quoted by Vogue UK:
“It is interesting to see how much reaction this retro branding has created…Clearly, this period of the history of the house was not well-known, which I trust was a surprise for Pierre Bergé [Saint Laurent's long-term partner]. I went back to 1966 – just before the events of 1968 [when 11 million workers revolted against the conservative politics of then-President Charles de Gaulle - the biggest general strike in history], but the awakening of youth was in the air, and Yves Saint Laurent wanted to dissociate himself from the clientele of haute couture and embrace this new generation.”
Perhaps the line did need a bit of youthful, rebellious energy; and that seems more in line with Slimane’s personality and aesthetic. But it does seem like a stretch to assume that everyone–especially those born after a certain time–woud immediately recognize the new branding as a nod to the original.
So does Slimane’s explanation make you feel differently about his decision to rebrand ready-to-wear? Or should we just wait to see the clothes?