Tomorrow, Hedi Slimane will unveil his first full ready to wear collection for YSL, which will now be called Saint Laurent. But since we still have little to go on in terms of actual design from Slimane, his rebranding of the storied label has been the main topic of conversation.
Despite the fact that news of YSL’s name and branding changes broke over three months ago, the fashion obsessed can’t seem to get over it.
When YSL’s rebranding strategy was first announced, people seemed to instantly have an abnormally strong (and mostly negative) reaction to it, taking to Twitter and Facebook to articulate their shock that newly appointed creative director Hedi Slimane would change the name of such a historic, iconic maison. But even after the fashion house explained the reasoning behind the brand overhaul, which actually pays tribute to the brand’s original name and logo, people were still pissed. Comments on Facebook ranged from “SHAME ON YOU HEDI,” to admonishments that the new logo would “ruin a legacy, an empire, and a legend [in] the industry.”
We hear that people at Saint Laurent were very surprised by the backlash. Slimane, for his part, told Vogue Paris that he found the criticism “interesting” and reiterated his intent to return to the original branding.
So, in theory, it’s not that big of a deal. Except it was, to seemingly everyone. But, why? We spoke to some branding experts to try to better understand why everyone reacted so strongly. Were we right to be upset, or was the reaction disproportionate to an action that really wasn’t such a bad idea?