If you have been following some of the fashion news of YSL, you must have heard that Hedi Slimane has returned to the brand as the new Creative Director, since March 2012. With this change, he decided to do some rebranding. You can also call this re-organizing the company.
Moving the YSL studio to Los Angeles, Hedi Slimane leaves the house’s Parisian headquarters. Also changing the brand name to Saint Laurent Paris, taking out Yves and adding Paris. Well this makes no sense to me at all! You move the studio to LA, but then adding Paris to the name. But they did decide to keep the YSL logo. It is confusing me as customer.
They say they are going back to the root, the original branding when it was called Saint Laurent Rive Gauche. I’m sorry, but probably nobody under 40 knows the brand like that. They are taking away the logic of the YSL logo representing Yves Saint Laurent by calling it Saint Laurent Paris. YSL logo is an icon and they would like to keep that (at least one thing they decided to keep). And the Paris part is just quite dumb, since it’s not located in Paris. Sure I get that it’s from Paris, but hey why not just stay in Paris?! Because Slimane likes LA better? Or does he think the inspiration is better there? Then it’s not Parisian inspired anymore, so why put in the Paris?!
It is really a bad timing and bad re-branding. YSL, Yves Saint Laurent or Saint Laurent Paris is having an identity crisis. Even though the luxury branch is suffering less than the rest of the economy, the people are thinking twice about how they spend their money. Of course they are buying the quality, but they are also buying the brand image that would represent them. (Are they really that cocky to think they are immune to the crisis?!?)
Brand aware customers will probably switch to other brands that do have a clear story. The people who just don’t know or care would stay, but does that mean you’re customers are sheep because they are buying what everyone else is buying?
I’m sure that there are enough people buying it if the designs are good. I think that is the only way to make this a success, just start from the beginning because YSL, Yves Saint Laurent or Saint Laurent Paris has nothing else to show for. The name Saint Laurent Paris will not take off, the logo says YSL for goodness sake!!! People will keep calling it Yves Saint Laurent and it will be a bunch of wasted money and wasted time, and a lot of confusion.
History has been destroyed, Yves Saint Laurent is probably crying from Fashion Heaven about what Slimane did to his brand. I can understand that Slimane wants to write history by successfully changing an iconic brand, but this change it just too cruel. Will take years to rebuild the brand image, I’m just wishing them good luck with it all and I sure hope that it will work out for them.
I’m just sad about them doing all these monkey moves and turning YSL into a schizophrenic. I just wanted to vent my frustration…