The idea of designer Hedi Slimane moving Yves Saint Laurent’s creative studio from the chic streets of Paris to the bustling modern city of Los Angeles seems shocking, absurd, unthinkable. Mais non! C'est ne pas possible!
But Pierre Berge, the late St. Laurent's longtime lover and business partner, is totally thrilled with his new designer's fresh ideas and his desire to continue to live and work in LA.
“I’m very happy. Anything that makes the house more Saint Laurent is welcome,” he told WWD. “I am happy that Stefano Pilati is gone, just as I was happy when Tom Ford left.”
He supports Slimane’s decision to headquarter YSL’s creative studios in Los Angeles, where he has lived and built a commercial photography career since 2007, when he resigned from Dior Homme.
“The creative studio is in a designer’s head, it resides within the person,” he said. “Hedi lives in Los Angeles. He should be left to do fashion in a city he likes.”
In Bergé’s mind, if a designer is to be in tune with modern times and the street, he is better off checking out Robertson Blvd, Melrose Avenue, Silver Lake or Abbott Kinney than the stuffy Rive Droit (or Gauche) bank of Paris.
The fashion businessman feels that Americans are more in tune with modern life and style, while the French fashion world falls prey to “démodé” rules and regulations based on couture and those legendary “chic Parisians.”
Slimane is also said to be working on new LA-inspired store concepts for YSL. He's expected to do the photography for the YSL campaigns himself. And his first runway collection -- Spring 2013 -- will be presented during Paris Fashion Week (which runs Sept 25-Oct 3).
That's not very long to assemble a debut collection, which will surely be closely scrutinized and soundly critiqued, ready for the salivating fashion press and buyers.