Since he replaced the designer Stefano Pilati as the creative director of Saint Laurent Paris, Hedi Slimane, 44, has introduced a vision of the brand than can divide, seen as brilliant or absurd.
One of his first moves that offended people: he dropped “Yves” from the label. The new logo and its modified Helvetica font were inspired by the storefront of Mr. Saint Laurent’s ready-to-wear business in the 1960s, called Saint Laurent Rive Gauche. He choose as ambassadors trash celebrities like Courtney Love or Marilyn Manson. The brand is now definitely rock’n’roll. But, his strategy worked. Saint Laurent ranked second among the most viewed collections on the site for both the fall and spring seasons, with more than 2.2 million page views for fall, right after Chanel.
Before Hedi Slimane, the collection had not previously been in the top 10. Despite critics, the figures keep rising: for the second quarter of this year, Saint Laurent sales rose 29%.
With radical change, the House Saint Laurent continues to surprise as Yves Saint Laurent had already did in his beginning.