Hedi Slimane (photo above), will be making a triumphant return back to the brand that many fashion insiders say that he embodies, Yves Saint Laurent. He actually worked for the brand for 3 years between 19997 and 2000. Slimane will be replacing the brand’s seven year creative director Stefano Pilati (pictured below taking his final bow as YSL’s Creative Director). Slimane has been on a 5 year hiatus from fashion design since leaving Dior Homme in 2007. While on hiatus, Slimane has made a name for himself as a successful photographer in the U.S., but it seems that he has accepted the call back to his first love of design.
Appointing Slimane to the position of creative director is a very gutsy move for the luxury brand and it parent company PPR (previously known as Pinault-Printemps-Redoute). Slimane has never designed a women’s wear collection, but has a solid following from fashion insiders for the tailoring of his men’s wear. As creative director, Slimane will now have total creative control over the imaging and collections of the luxury brand. This could be a great gamble for the brand and it’s parent company. If it turns out the way that they want, it can put YSL back at the forefront of luxury, but if the dice rolls the wrong way, it can negate all of the effort of Stefano Pilati. Pilati has been credited with bringing the brand of YSL from loss to a profit making business, which was no small fete.
Francois-Henri Pinault, PPR chairman and CEO, said the “formidable potential” of YSL “will be successfully harnessed and revealed through the vision of Hedi Slimane”. Only time will tell, but every designer knows that success is more attainable when the corporate heads of the company truly believes in your talent and vision. Slimane’s first designs for YSL will premiere with the “Resort” collection in June.
Will you be watching?
YSL’s now former Creative Director, Stefano Pilati taking his final walk to a standing ovation as head designer of the luxury brand.
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