It has only been a little over three months since his appointment as Yves Saint Laurent’s new creative director was announced to the media, but Hedi Slimane is clearly not afraid of letting his radical ideas come to life. Today, the iconic French label confirmed rumors of Slimane’s plans to change the fashion house’s name from Yves Saint Laurent to Saint Laurent Paris. The new name will be made official during the label’s Spring/Summer 2013 presentation later this year, which will also mark Slimane’s first runway appearance under the label’s reinvigorated monicker.
A statement released by YSL—or is it SL now—to Women’s Wear Daily reveals that this shocking move comes amid their efforts to “restore the house to its truth, purity and essence” while still moving the brand forward towards a more modern and youthful aesthetic. Slimane’s re-branding inspiration was reportedly derived from the company’s name back in 1966—Saint Laurent Rive Gauche—the name used to launch the label’s first ready-to-wear line. Paying greater homage to the label’s beginnings, the designer reveals that he plans on using similar fonts and wordings.
While industry insiders and YSL fans are quietly grieving the death of “Yves,” the label slips in a flicker of hope in saying that the brand’s full name and the YSL short name will still be used for “institutional purposes.” Further, beauty, cosmetic and accessories will reportedly continue to bear the YSL emblem.
With its immense global brand recognition and 83-store presence worldwide, we can’t help but look into the impracticality of this—financially and strategically. This monumental move by the iconic house—and Slimane’s total freedom and responsibility in directing the sail of the brand’s image—can go both ways. Although Slimane is a known perfectionist, we just have to assume that the label’s owners have carefully studied the potential risks and promising rewards that await them.