Following Hedi Slimane’s official exit at Yves Saint Laurent late last week, the French fashion house announced today that Belgian-born Anthony Vaccarello will take over as creative director. This aptly follows news late Sunday night that Vaccarello had left his role of the same title at Versus Versace, which fueled longtime speculation that he’d be Slimane’s successor.
“I am extremely happy to have Anthony Vaccarello take the creative helm of Yves Saint Laurent,” said Francesca Bellettini, president and chief executive officer of Yves Saint Laurent. “His modern, pure aesthetic is the perfect fit for the maison. Anthony Vaccarello impeccably balances elements of provocative femininity and sharp masculinity in his silhouettes. He is the natural choice to express the essence of Yves Saint Laurent. I am enthusiastic about embarking on a new era with Anthony Vaccarello, and together bringing the maison further success.”
Versus Versace Fall ’16 Lookbook
The 36-year-old spent three years at Versus Versace, while also maintaining his own eponymous brand, known for purveying a similarly sexy, leather and lace look that Slimane established during his four-year reign at Yves Saint Laurent. While many have criticized Vaccarello’s aesthetic as being too single-minded, BoF’s Tim Blanks included, this focused approach aligns with Slimane’s, who consistently presented grunge-soaked, music-inspired ranges that fashion insiders often felt dragged Yves Saint Laurent’s luxury image down.
Anthony Vaccarello Spring ’16 Campaign
Opinions aside, the iconic maison was an undeniable commercial success under Slimane’s LA-imbued direction, garnering $1.14 billion in revenue for 2015, which was a 38 percent increase from 2014. Vaccarello will have the daunting task of maintaining this impressive growth, debuting his premiere spring ’17 collection in October during Paris Fashion Week.
While this announcement ties up one loose end, it unravels a few more, including the unknown future of Slimane, Vaccarello’s private label, as well as Versus Versace, which founder Donatella Versace will be “surprising everybody” with, according to the New York Times.
“Mr. Saint Laurent is a legendary figure for his creativity, style and audacity,” said Vaccarello in an official statement. “I am extremely grateful for the opportunity to contribute to the history of this extraordinary house.”