Thursday, April 28, 2016

YSL CEO: The Plan Post Hedi

For those predicting another seismic shift in brand identity at Saint Laurent - following the departure of Hedi Slimane last month and the appointment of Anthony Vaccarello - you will be in for a surprise. According to the fashion house's CEO, Francesca Bellettini, the Vaccarello era at the fashion house will be a something of an evolution, rather than a new direction.

"If you look, some products in our collections are products that existed before Hedi Slimane, so even with the arrival of Hedi Slimane, this product didn't change," she told the Business of Fashion. "They evolved, they are part of the universe, they remained part of the collection, they still represent a good portion of our sales and we keep them because they make sense. So I can tell you that everything that makes sense will be kept, evolving together with the brand."

Bellettini also said that the change that happened under Slimane - including a name alteration, in-store overhauling, and a younger, more contemporary aesthetic - was necessary to "bring back into the brand a sense of modernity, content, that youth spirit, bringing clarity to the brand strategy and the brand DNA, to be relevant for today". She said that "consumers were a little bit confused" after many years of licensing and creative direction. "Now that is all cleared," she said.

"So all of this is set, the house is now well established, the codes are well established. But we are fashion and we need an evolution," she continued. "The brand will evolve under the creative direction of Anthony, who, like every creative director will be free to express his own creativity and the language of the brand in his own way, while always respecting the DNA of the maison."

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