All about Yves: Legendary French Design House Changes Its Name

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Paris—What’s in a name?

Well, according to Hedi Slimane, the recently-appointed creative director at Yves Saint Laurent, a few changes here and there will have the legendary French design house smelling just as sweet.

Confirming rumors that Slimane plans to drop “Yves” from the name in favor of Saint Laurent Paris, the house issued a statement saying: “All creations from the Couture House, starting with the Spring-Summer 2013 collections by Hedi Slimane, will carry the name ‘Saint Laurent.’”

The company’s YSL logo, created in 1963 by artist A.M. Cassandre, will remain and continue to be used on footwear, cosmetics, handbags, etc. and in advertising campaigns.

In fact, Slimane and the company’s marketing team plan to return to the same typeface fonts and nomenclature associated with the brand in the 1960s when designer Yves Henri Donat Mathieu-Saint-Laurent was one of the hottest designers in the world.

Bergé on Slimane: ‘Like a Member of the Family’

Said a spokesperson regarding the orginial branding: ”This is to restore the house to its truth, purity and essence–and taking it into a new era while respecting the original principles and ideals.”

Although Yves Saint Laurent died in 2008, his former partner Pierre Bergé reportedly greeted the name change with enthusiasm, saying the move could invigorate the brand. “Anything that makes the house more Saint Laurent is welcome.”

Bergé hasn’t been involved in the business he co-founded since the 1990s but he’s hardly been silent about his distaste for previous YSL creative directors Tom Ford and Stefano Pilati. However, he refers to Slimane as “a member of the family.”

Slimane, who succeeded Pilati in March, has shaken up more than the company’s name and branding. Besides designing the collections from his studio in Los Angeles where he’s been living, Slimane announced earlier this spring his first Saint Laurent collection will only be previewed with retailers.

Slimane’s Saint Laurent Paris spring menswear and women’s cruise line will be on view June 28 through July 4 at the Grand Palais in Paris. Slimane intends to show his first spring/summer 2013 womenswear collection in September during Paris Fashion Week.



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