Yves Saint Laurent

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Label Overview

Hedi Slimane, 2012 - Present; Stefano Pilati, 2005 - 2012; Tom Ford, 1999 - 2004; Alber Elbaz, 1998 - 1999; Yves Saint Laurent, 1966 - 1987

Algerian-born Yves Saint Laurent and his business partner/ex-lover Pierre Bergé started the brand in 1962, after Saint Laurent was laid off from his top rank at Dior following his stint in the French Army. Going solo, it turned out, galvanized YSL’s creative output and career. The designer is credited with a great many things: the women’s tuxedo (and Le Smoking), the trench coat and peacoat as high fashion, safari-chic, the shirtdress, the iconic Mondrian dress (and the subsequent graphic-print craze), “ethnic-inspired” and beatnik gear, and numerous other sartorial coups. Saint Laurent was also the first couturier to market and cultivate his prêt-a-porter line Rive Gauche, and among the first to feature black models.

In 1993, the house was sold to pharmaceuticals company Sanofi for over $600 million before the Gucci Group acquired the brand. Yves stayed aboard, designing the couture collection until his retirement in 2002, which marked the shuttering of that arm of the business. Rive Gauche was designed by Lanvin’s Alber Elbaz for three seasons starting in 1998, and then by creative director Tom Ford, who brought the brand back into the spotlight with heightened sex appeal and provocative marketing, somewhat to the dismay of Saint Laurent, who was not particularly fond of Ford’s aesthetic. After Tom Ford’s departure in 2004, Stefano Pilati, whose style was more in line with that of the late Monsieur Saint Laurent, was named creative director. In February 2012 it was announced that Hedi Slimane would replace Pilati. After his appointment, Slimane made the decision to rebrand Yves Saint Laurent, renaming the ready-to-wear line Saint Laurent Paris. And in April 2016, Belgian-born designer Anthony Vaccarello was appointed creative director of YSL after a long creative stint at Versus Versace as well as his two-year span at Fendi under Karl Lagerfeld. Since taking on the head creative position at Yves Saint Laurent, Vaccarello has put the Y back in YSL by debuting YSL logo shoes as well as featuring smoking jackets, a nod to Yves Saint Laurent himself.

 

Designed By
Hedi Slimane, 2012 - Present; Stefano Pilati, 2005 - 2012; Tom Ford, 1999 - 2004; Alber Elbaz, 1998 - 1999; Yves Saint Laurent, 1966 - 1987
Sibling Labels
Saint Laurent
Owned By
Gucci Group/PPR Pinault-Printemps-Redoute
Websites
http://www.ysl.com/

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