When we heard a rumor that newly hired Yves Saint Laurent creative director Hedi Slimane was planning to change the name of the iconic house, one of the first things we wondered was--what will Pierre Bergé think? The rumor turned out to be true--the new name will be Saint Laurent Paris--and as it turns out, he's totally cool with it.
Infamously critical of some of the house's past creative directors, Yves Saint Laurent's business (and romantic) partner has practically dedicated his life to keeping Saint Laurent's memory and creative vision alive through the Fondation Pierre Bergé Yves Saint Laurent. Bergé has also been (uncharacteristically?) outspoken in support of Slimane, who had a stint designing menswear for the house in the late '90s. At the YSL retrospective exhibit in Denver earlier this year, he told us,
I am very, very happy today to have Hedi Slimane because he is a great fashion designer and he has a great talent, a huge talent. I like him, he is a friend and he worked for Saint Laurent a long time ago and he’s a member of the family, of the YSL family.
It seems none of that has changed now that Slimane has announced plans to give the house a bit of an image makeover in the interest of using "original branding" from when Saint Laurent launched RTW in 1966 and “restoring the house to its truth, purity and essence — and taking it into a new era.” Bergé told WWD, “I’m very happy. Anything that makes the house more Saint Laurent is welcome."
He then recalled another thing that makes him happy: “I am happy that Stefano Pilati is gone, just as I was happy when Tom Ford left.” Ouch.
Berge also said he supports Slimane's decision to move YSL's studios from Paris to his current home, Los Angeles, saying, "He should be left to do fashion in a city he likes.” Sounds like Slimane can do no wrong in Bergé's eyes.
WWD also threw in a couple of intriguing rumors about Slimane's plans for spring 2013: that he's already secured exclusives with some models for the show and that he plans to shoot the campaign himself.