YSL is Rebranding Ready-to-Wear Line (Only) to Saint Laurent Paris [UPDATED]

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Hedi Slimane, newly installed creative director of the Yves Saint Laurent fashion empire, is reportedly spurring the iconic brand name and signature logo created in 1961 at the inception of the house to Saint Laurent Paris. “For Slimane to make the decision to change YSL to SLP before his first collection for the label has been shown is a strong statement about regime change. Clearly, Slimane intends to do things his way,” commented the Guardian.

“WWD assures us that the classic YSL logo ‘will not disappear,'” reports Racked. In fact, Slimane’s rebranding looks to the past as well as the future: He’s hoping to tap into the sense of youth and modernity that Yves himself captured with his Saint Laurent Rive Gauche ready-to-wear line in 1966.”

Update: Yves Saint Laurent provided the following statement to brandchannel clarifying the evolution of its branding:

The YSL logo, created by Cassandre in 1961, will remain intact and the name Yves Saint Laurent will continue to be used and represent the fashion house. The Ready-To-Wear line, originally called “Saint Laurent Rive Gauche” in 1966, will now be called “Saint Laurent Paris.” Therefore the principal change will be the RTW’s name, “Saint Laurent Paris” and the fashion house will continue to go by the name Yves Saint Laurent. [more]

The brand posted the following statement and photo — of the first Saint Laurent Rive Gauche boutique in Paris, along with its namesake founder — on Twitter on June 22nd in resposnse to concerns that its flagship branding was changing:

Earlier:

The global fashion house has 83 stores worldwide and has banked on the YSL initials for brand success for more than five decades.

Bold moves such as the “prêt-à-porter” line, pants suits, tuxedos and smoking jackets for women, and African American models on Parisian catwalks have long been part of YSL’s DNA. The rumor that YSL was no more sent shockwaves through the fashion world and the Twitterverse, with some fashion insiders ready-to-swear and others taking any change to the iconic branding in stride (more below):

  • michelle ten‏@msmichelleten Blasphemy!!! “We heard through the grapevine that Hedi SLimane wants YSL to be known simply as SL.” http://bit.ly/PsWJD6 (via fashionista)
  • Yasmin Bseiso‏ @_yaz A big NO-NO! MT @Fashionista_com: We heard through the grapevine that Hedi SLimane wants to change YSL to simply ‘SL’ http://bit.ly/NaiNPP
  • Jim Shi‏ @jimshi809 Hedi Slimane will do retro branding, bringing back same 1966 fonts & original nomenclature when rtw was called Saint Laurent Rive. 

Saint Laurent CEO Paul Deneve discussed the branding evolution in an internal memo: 

“I am very pleased to announce an exciting step in the history of our brand and our business. As part of our strategy to become one of the world’s true leaders in fashion and luxury, we are transforming the name of our brand from ‘Yves Saint Laurent’ to ‘Saint Laurent Paris.’ The new name of our brand has been shared with the media today. 

“The brand identity and visual language will be introduced over the next several months and will be fully in place for the Spring/Summer 2013 collection. This change celebrates our legacy and heritage, while boldly marking our ambition for the future. It will allow us to return to the fundamentals of YSL and revive the spirit and the intentions that reigned over the creation of ‘Saint Laurent Rive Gauche’ in 1966: principles of youth, freedom, and modernity.”

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