This fall, as creative director Hedi Slimanef‘s first Spring 2013 designs for the label arrive in stores, YSL will also undergo a name change to Saint Laurent Paris. Although the label’s name is changing, the instantly recognizable YSL logo will not. Slimane will continue to use the logo as it’s used now, on makeup, shoes, bags, and other packaging. This news was also accompanied with the announcement that Slimane will be designing all of Saint Laurent Paris from Los Angeles and his first two collections for the brand, woman’s resort and spring menswear, will not be open to the press. Slimane’s clothes haven’t even been seen by the public yet, and he is already upsetting the traditionalists of the fashion world by shaking up an over fifty-years-old design institution. Although YSL devotees may be upset, surprisingly enough, Pierre Bergé, Saint Laurent’s long time buisness partner and lover, condones all of Slimane’s decisions as the house’s new creative director, saying, “I’m very happy. Anything that makes the house more Saint Laurent is welcome.” A spokeswoman for the label told WWD, “Slimane would return the house to its ‘original branding’ and thereby ‘restoring the house to its truth, purity and essence — and taking it into a new era’ while ‘respecting the original principles and ideals.’” The new name harkens back to Saint Laurent’s original 1966 name, Saint Laurent Rive Gauche. The change suggests that Slimane will be looking back to the house’s rise in the sixties, reviving some of Saint Laurent’s original fonts, styles, and designs, while mixing in his unique vision for the brand and taking it into the future. Although Slimane may be ostracizing himself amongst YSL purists before a single look hits the runway, his unabashed attitude towards change, even in the face of an overwhelming fashion legacy, guarantees that he will breath fresh life and vigor into the label, just as Tom Ford and Stefano Pilati did before him.
-Emily Kirkpatrick for The Untitled Magazine