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YSL No More

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Hedi Slimane was appointed to replace Stefano Pilati to shake things up at Yves Saint Laurent, and he’s already ruffled a few feathers - by changing the name of the fifty year-old label.

In a controversial move that has divided opinion on twitter (where #YSL and Saint Laurent Paris have been trending all day), Creative Director Hedi Slimane has announced that Yves Saint Laurent will be changed to Saint Laurent Paris from September, according to WWD.

A rebranding exercise that will aim to evoke the youthful, contemporary spirit of the 1966 Rive Gauche ready-to-wear line, the new ‘Saint Laurent Paris’ label will be fully in place by the time the brand’s Spring/Summer 2013 womenswear collection hit stores, although the YSL logo is reported to remain a trademark of the house, remaining on shoes, accessories and cosmetics.

ABOVE: The YSL logo, as seen on a Belle du Jour clutch. The logo will remain of the label's accessories.

Slimane, who rose to fashion fame as the Creative Director of the Dior Homme menswear label, created much excitement in the fashion world when it was announced he would be taking the top job at YSL. He also has the approval of Pierre Bergé, Yves Saint Laurent’s longtime friend, business partner and co-founder of the label, who told the New Yorker in 2006:

“People now in men’s fashion design just do it for the runway and their press. With Hedi, it’s completely different. He has a wonderful sense of the clothes. He has a wonderful technique. For Hedi, the idea of the customer, that is very important. Other designers know nothing about the customer. They have scorn. I don’t respect many fashion designers, but I respect Hedi very much.”

ABOVE: Yves Saint Laurent with Jerry Hall, backstage at one of his shows.

So what does this new direction mean for the house of YSL? Is this a move to distance the brand away from the label’s founder, the inimitable Yves, who defined the brand until his death in 2008, or to inject new life and a breath of fresh air into the house after fifty years?

Either way, the shake-up has got us very excited for Slimane’s official runway debut in September, when he’ll show his Spring/Summer 2013 collection at Paris Fashion Week. Finger’s crossed for a fresh and modern take on tailoring, Slimane’s trademark.

ABOVE: An Yves Saint Laurent look by the designer himself.

ABOVE: Stefano Pilati's final collection for YSL.

What do you think of the name change? Does Saint Laurent Paris or ‘SLP’ have the same ring to it as YSL? Are you excited to see how Hedi will change such an iconic fashion label? Let us know in the comments below or @StylistMagazine.

Picture credits: Rex Features

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