PARIS – The Yves Saint Laurent fashion house appointed Anthony Vaccarello as creative director of its clothing line on Monday, replacing the departing Hedi Slimane.
The 36-year-old Belgian, who has designed his own brand since 2009, previously worked at Fendi, and had a three-year stint at Versus Versace, where he was appointed creative director in 2015. Versace confirmed his departure with immediate effect.
Vaccarello will present his first collection for Saint Laurent Paris in October at the Paris fashion week.
“Mr. Saint Laurent is a legendary figure for his creativity, style and audacity. I am extremely grateful for the opportunity to contribute to the history of this extraordinary house,” Vaccarello said.
Donatella Versace said she was sorry to see Vaccarello “leave the Versace family. I wish him tremendous success.”
In a statement Monday, Yves Saint Laurent praised Vaccarello’s “mastering of razor-sharp tailoring techniques” as well as his influences and references which “strongly recall the soul of the maison.”
Friendly and affable in person, Vaccarello has risen quickly up the ranks after putting Gwyneth Paltrow on the cover of Harper’s Bazaar in a leg-revealing photo shoot in 2012, and then being chosen by Donatella Versace to head her little-sister Versus line.
Known for his sexually bold designs that show off the female form, Vaccarello is a saleable and commercially-minded choice. He is expected to continue the youthful disco-glitter styles that Slimane’s tenure was associated with.
Slimane provoked controversy at the house when he joined in 2012, rebranding YSL ready-to-wear with the new name “Saint Laurent Paris,” and overhauling the label’s image. Gone was the sophisticated look associated with the iconic house founder, and in its place were grunge styles modeled by adolescent-looking super-waif models.
Yves Saint Laurent president and CEO Francesca Bellettini is hopeful Vaccarello’s appointment will bring “further success” to the fashion house.
“His modern, pure esthetic is the perfect fit for the maison,” she said. “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.”