When appointed as the new Yves Saint Laurent creative director, Hedi Slimane was given “total creative responsibility for the brand image and all of its collections.” The first move in his rebranding efforts, to take the brand in a more modern direction, is to rename it “Saint Laurent Paris”. Apparently he’s reverting to “original branding” in order to restore “the house to its truth, purity and essence – and taking it into a new era”, while “respecting the original principles and ideals”. According to his spokeswoman, he is drawing inspiration from 1966, when the ready-to-wear line was launched as Saint Laurent Rive Gauche. The name changed again after Saint Laurent retired. He produced the label’s last haute couture collection in 2002, and died in 2008. The founder himself may have approved, as he enjoyed making radical changes: he became the first couturier to diversify into ready-to-wear, pioneered the trouser suit and introduced the first black models to Paris catwalks.

The makeover, to be presented with Slimane’s first womenswear collection this autumn (SS13), will use similar fonts to the 1966 branding. And the full Yves Saint Laurent name will continue to be used for “institutional purposes”. Below are some examples of the early branding – it’ll be very interesting to see updated versions of these.

I’m a firm believer in returning to a brand’s heritage and core, which is easily eroded over the years. It could be a hit or miss decision, but sometimes you have to go backward to move forward. This way bravery lies.
Txx

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