This story first appeared in the Aug. 24 issue of The Hollywood Reporter magazine.
By now, the Hollywood fashion community is quite aware that YSL’s new creative director Hedi Slimane — best known for making the skinny men’s suit famous at Dior Homme years ago — has decided to bring the newly named Saint Laurent Paris design team to his home base since 2007: Los Angeles. No major European house has ever designed luxury clothes out of the West Coast, but as the new hope to revive the fashionable cutting edge image of YSL, Slimane now holds all the cards with the Gucci-owned brand. He relocated to SoCal after he left Dior Homme — and fashion design in general — for the sunnier shores of L.A., where Slimane reinvented himself as a photographer. He actually had many shows around town.
Word is, according to sources who talked to THR, Slimane will work out of YSL’s Paris offices right before a runway show — like the spring 2013 one to be shown in Paris in early October — but do the rest of the design out of L.A. So it stands to reason that the L.A. climate and lifestyle will probably turn up in his collections somehow.
But not everyone knows Slimane’s face. It isn’t like he’s Karl Lagerfeld or Marc Jacobs. He’s never done a ton of interviews or posed for many magazine spreads. Sources on Rodeo Drive tell THR that when he walked into the YSL boutique recently, some staff members failed to recognize him. When the store’s manager approached him and didn’t know his name, he was fired on the spot, our sources report. Other L.A. fashion sources say Slimane thinks some of the boutique employees don’t have the right look to represent the brand under his new aesthetic.
The YSL store on Rodeo is, according to Rodeo Drive sources, indeed looking for a new manager. Reps at YSL did not get back to us by presstime.