Meet Anthony Vaccarello, YSL’s new prince

Post by TM

It was announced last Friday that the man who took the Yves out of Saint Laurent was out, his contract not renewed.  Today, confirming the speculation, Hedi Slimane’s  replacement was revealed to be the largely unknown Anthony Vaccarello.

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You would do well to remember the name; it’s on every fashion person’s lips – and if you’re reading this here I assume you’re interested. This is a huge deal for AntVac (as I won’t be referring to him again); the Creative Director of YSL job is one of the most prestigious of them all. Put it like this; Karl Lagerfeld is the designer, and Vaccarello’s predecessor is pipped to take the post – if Karl decides to retire. Which he probably won’t any time soon, but still.

Anthony Vaccarello is taking the post immediately, which means saying goodbye to Janice the Muppet Donatella Versace as head of the Versace Versus line. Previous Versus heads have been JW Anderson and Christopher Kane, which also says a lot, so confirms Donatella herself: “I have worked with three great young talents on Versus Versace…In each instance, their time on Versus Versace led to them making a huge advancement in their design career.” Quite.

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Anthony Vaccarello x Versace Versus

He was a good fit for Versace: his style is modern, sexy (and so very black), but it’s also very cool. He runs his eponymous line, and it’s even cooler. But he’s suspending it, effective immediately, to devour YSL. This is going to be interesting.

Hedi Slimane’s tenure at YSL, or rather, Saint Laurent (the jury’s out on whether or not Vaccarello will bring back the Yves to the ready-to-wear line), proved commercially successful for the brand. His collections were edgy and easily emulated (mere mortals could get the idea in more affordable stores like All Saints), but, tellingly, they were never revolutionary.

Vaccarello seems to have a similar urban cool aesthetic, but the bosses would never replace Hedi Slimane with Hedi Junior. Of his designs, Vaccarello told Interview magazine last year: ‘Maybe because I’m half-Italian and half-Belgian, I strive for both a kind of sensuality and a control and construction. It’s sexy because the girl is wearing the dress. It’s not my first goal when I’m making the collection.’

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Versus Versace AW16

He’ll show his first collection for the brand this autumn for the SS17 shows at Paris Fashion Week. Here’s hoping for a revolution.

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