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02-09-2013
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I hope to god eventually YSL will end up with Ghesquire the house deserves FAR FAR better

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02-09-2013
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I think this thread will simply re-confirm itself.

Just a few thoughts... first with regards to rhetoric.

The title finishes with the words "A Mistake?", which means mainly people who agree with that will likely respond. Had the title been more neutral, for example "What do you think of HS at SL", then perhaps the responses would've been slightly more balanced?

Maybe I am over-analyzing. Sorry, if so.

As to the mistake question, actually there are at least two questions embedded into it:

Firstly, is it a mistake for the company? Well, imo, we'd know this only by knowing actual sales figures. And unless there is a true insider lurking here, we are unlikely to get those.

But then there's the other question: is it a mistake with regards to the SL aesthetics? We can see already that most people think it is based on the strongly negative reactions to his last 2 collections.

Are there any other ways in which it could be a mistake?

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02-09-2013
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^ I think the 'Mistake' wording will at least equally fire up those who disagree to respond. There is a major Hedi proponent who hasn't posted here yet, but I'm certain it's not the thread title that's slowing him down

I think we are far too quick to believe that revenue justifies whatever. Certainly there have been terrible collections that have sold well, and great things that have barely sold. I think another important standard by which we can judge a designer is by his/her contribution to the house legacy and codes. If all you're doing is tacking "PS Hedi started his usual here" to the timeline of the house legacy, can that really be considered a contribution to the house?

Then again, perhaps the majority of us here are just obtuse, and can't recognize true genius and the destined future of YSL (I mean SL of course) staring us in the face

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02-09-2013
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Zazie View Post
Interesting take... I was actually looking forward to what Slimane would do for YSL - I expected a sort of early Dior Homme sleek cat vibe that recalls the sort of almost fetish Le Smoking, plastic mac phase of YSL, a sexier take on what Philo is doing at Celine.

Instead, it was "Grunge", which might be ok if there's some of the genuine original rebellion woven in,...but it was facile, airhead LA Grunge, Courtney Love & Rachel Zoey "Grunge"....AAARRRGGGHHH! It's an expensive nostalgia head trip Hedi Slimane coming-of-age "Grunge" journey forced onto YSL, the venerable fashion house.
Herein lies my issue with the appointment, as well.

And ultimately, it is my issue with the entire, current industry at large. Creativity is not valued anymore. It is the bottom dollar. It explains the Saint Laurent situation and it explains the Wang/Balenciaga situation. It explains why Olivier Theyskens is relegated to Theory. It explains why several years ago Alessandra Facchinetti was fired from Valentino. It explains the over crowded NY Fashion Week schedule with fashion shows for every contemporary level brand (ie. Rag + Bone, etc.). This is not 2004 when real talents like McQueen and Ghesquiere were being supported by Ford and De Sole.

I simply refuse to believe that fashion's greatest minds and creators cannot sell clothing. I can't and won't believe it. I can't believe, for example, that a company like Balenciaga wasn't making money - and it baffles me as to why Wang needed to be brought in when the store was already stocked with the basic Capsule collections - Balenciaga Jeans, Balenciaga T's, etc. etc. Every time I went into the store, it was filled with easy, wearable pieces under the umbrella of the seasonal message, sitting alongside the runway collection. The store was stocked full of the City Bags and sneakers. Gorgeous leather moto jackets....everything!

What Wang is doing and what Hedi is doing is simple refabrication of existing clothing - no experimentation, no real design! At all! What's the point? There really is none at all! It's so pathetic.

Fashion is so ill right now....luxury brands are on the same level as high street brands. The product is essentially the exact same. And sometimes the quality and the fabrication isn't even all that different!! It's shameful. There is very little that separates Zara from a luxury house like Saint Laurent.

Also - I recently watched for the first time "L'amour Fou" about Berger and his life with Yves and the auction of their vast collection of art and objets d'art. And it made me realize...there is nothing, really, that connects Hedi's current work for the house with Yves work. The spirit is not the same. Yves, while certainly controversial and divisive, was always there to make women beautiful. Hedi is too involved in himself and his boys to really care about what women want.

Something needs to change.

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Last edited by dior_couture1245; 02-09-2013 at 09:47 PM.
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02-09-2013
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fashionista-ta View Post
^ I think the 'Mistake' wording will at least equally fire up those who disagree to respond. There is a major Hedi proponent who hasn't posted here yet, but I'm certain it's not the thread title that's slowing him down
THIS.

Although, I don't think it was necessary to create an entirely new thread, as the same question and thoughts have been said countless times in both the seasonal threads and Hedi's own thread.

I like your line of thinking, however. It is nice to have someone who is able to see it from both sides.

IMO, so many people have their minds made up about Hedi, so even if he went and did a quintessential Saint Laurent collection next season, they would still find a reason to poo poo on it.


Last edited by LostInNJ; 02-09-2013 at 10:04 PM.
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02-09-2013
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Quote:
I think we are far too quick to believe that revenue justifies whatever.
I am not saying that "we" or certainly "I" feel that way.

I am saying that the "company" feels that way.

For them, it is about the bottom dollar.

That is the nature of the Fashion industry at large now. Sure there are always renegades. But as another thread we have here, under this umbrella, points out, our society has become more and more materialistic and greedy. It's evident in the Fashion industry by the constant churning out of collection after collection.

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02-09-2013
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Quote:
Although, I don't think it was necessary to create an entirely new thread, as the same question and thoughts have been said countless times in both the seasonal threads and Hedi's own thread.
That was what I was saying. This thread will reconfirm what we already know. The vast majority of people at tFS already have made it loud and clear that they think Slimane was a mistake on his collection threads and on other threads. There are very few defenders of Slimane at this site. At least based on what i've read.

So I was trying to push the question: a mistake "how" exactly? How can the discussion be expanded?

That's all.

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02-09-2013
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Not Plain Jane View Post
I am not saying that "we" or certainly "I" feel that way.

I am saying that the "company" feels that way.

For them, it is about the bottom dollar.

That is the nature of the Fashion industry at large now. Sure there are always renegades. But as another thread we have here, under this umbrella, points out, our society has become more and more materialistic and greedy. It's evident in the Fashion industry by the constant churning out of collection after collection.
Honestly, I don't know what it's about ... but ego is always a likely culprit.

What was the quote that was just posted about its being high risk to say "We can do better" because things were very profitable as is?

I would like someone at PPR to define 'better' for me.

Perhaps the execs feel that if they're not firing someone and creating 'change' that they're not doing anything.

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02-09-2013
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Maybe it's meaningless ego pumping; that's certainly a possibility. But are executives likely to risk a profitable business for the sake of ego? Possibly. But risky!

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02-09-2013
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I don't think you can say that the clothes aren't selling because the sales associates aren't happy. Yes, I'm sure they have to find a new clientele to sell too, but Hedi's brought in a much broader fanbase.

And according to Kerings press release (http://www.kering.com/sites/default/...1results_0.pdf) : "Increase in sales across all key categories – Outstanding performance of Leather Goods and RTW" with sales up 14.2%

I don't know why everyone has such a hate on for Hedi. Fashion is all about change. He certainly has a plan and a vision for Saint Laurent, and his execution and delivery is flawless. According to Pierre Berge "..it's exactly what needed to be done."

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02-09-2013
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Not Plain Jane View Post
Maybe it's meaningless ego pumping; that's certainly a possibility. But are executives likely to risk a profitable business for the sake of ego? Possibly. But risky!
Well, they did, right? The business was profitable, and growing, and they made a very significant change. Perhaps it was a good decision; time I suppose will tell. I'm sure they had their reasons ... I would just like, when the big conglomerates fire some of the best and most talented womenswear designers in the world, for them to at least hire people of equal talent and skill.

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Last edited by fashionista-ta; 02-09-2013 at 11:47 PM.
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03-09-2013
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Very interesting insights here. @haydn, thanks for the link to the annual report. At first glance, it may disprove what I was told by the sales associates. However, when compared to the 40%+ increase (refer to @VogueDisciple93's post for the NYT interview insert) the brand experienced for the first half of 2012 (pre Hedi)compared to the 16.5% increase (post Hedi) it experienced for the first half of this year, it can be seen that the rate of increment seemed to have dropped significantly; this may explain why their targets were dropped. Sales may have increased but the pattern of increment seemed to have decreased. I wouldn't expect the brand to start to reach it's maturity stage especially when a new "star" creative director has been installed.

As @disco54 pointed out, there was a great emphasis on Hedi's celebrity status or popularity within the celebrity crowd even if he isn't a celeb himself. There seems to have been an unknown gamble that was played and this was overshadowed by an over-the-top sense of optimism based on his status especially with regards to womenswear. I am certainly not disputing that he has, at some point, been of great importance to fashion due to his contributions however, I don't feel what he contributed is timeless enough not to progress. It can be updated but I don't see him doing that.

With regards to his respect for the brands heritage, it's not being shown in an obvious way and I think that's may be too risky. I do not like literal translations of a house's past but lets take his grunge collection into consideration. As much as I despise it in almost every way, I could understand that he wanted it to be a rebellious collection echoing Mr Saint Laurent's rebellious nature in his early days. But as @zazie stated, the shock from it was different. I was shocked - just like most - that it was too nostalgic, disrespectful in its visual nature and so under designed that I felt and still feel that PPR management should have intervened. Now Hedi, in my opinion, could have proven himself as a true genius if he was able to translate grunge into something elegant and very true to the YSL spirit in every sense. I guess all this controversy increases the popularity of the brand but is it really worth it? I hope he embraces the more grown-up, elegant side of the brand. Let it be more targeted towards people who can actually afford it; towards its old customers.

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03-09-2013
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^ I think what Dries did with grunge shows that it can be taken anywhere ... I think what you're pointing to was possible, but it would require significant talent.

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03-09-2013
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ogepma View Post
...My take on this is that PPR (Kerring) made an initial mistake by hiring Hedi, but this is one they have to live with for a while. It seemed to me that they relied mainly on his past glories and pre-existing customer base...
With all due respect, what else would they be relying on?

As far as I can see there are only two ways this can be considered a mistake;

  1. It fails to make money
  2. It doesn't meet someone's subjective expectations for the brand
We have various anecdotal evidence in this thread that seems to indicate that the brand is making money, but is possibly not growing as fast as PPR hoped. If PPR is not satisfied with making profits, but only with meeting their projected profit increases, then I can see them considering this hiring a mistake.

It's clear from every SLP-related thread on tFS that there are a number of vocal members who are tired of Hedi and his vision (if they ever liked him/it in the first place). Clearly, it is a mistake as far as this group is concerned. I think most of this group was against the appointment before they even saw the first collection; so it was a foregone conclusion that it was a mistake.

I agree with the people who say that he is better at menswear than women's. I probably like only about 15% of each collection. A lot of the rest of it looks gaudy and cheap. But I like Hedi's aesthetic in general, I like what he does. He does one thing and does it pretty well, IMO. And I am not losing money on it so to me, it's not a mistake.

Quote:
Yves, while certainly controversial and divisive, was always there to make women beautiful. Hedi is too involved in himself and his boys to really care about what women want.
This made me laugh and generally struck me as true, but I wonder. Yves Saint Laurent shocked some people by putting women in pants and I don't doubt that he faced some of the same sorts of criticism. And there are clearly women who want what Hedi is putting out there.

The larger question for me is, is it really true that the gap between high fashion and high street has become so narrow?

Quote:
Fashion is so ill right now....luxury brands are on the same level as high street brands. The product is essentially the exact same. And sometimes the quality and the fabrication isn't even all that different!! It's shameful. There is very little that separates Zara from a luxury house like Saint Laurent.
I have handled enough of the SLP product to say that it is definitely of higher quality than Zara's offerings, but that's begging the question. At the high end, there may be little to no innovation, as many of you are pointing out, and at the low end, the time required to mimic new designer offerings and put them on the shelves or in internet shops at high-street prices can be measured in days.

Has Fashion eaten itself?

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03-09-2013
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Originally Posted by tangerine View Post
The larger question for me is, is it really true that the gap between high fashion and high street has become so narrow?
This is a good point! Hedi's influence is evident as you can walk into almost any high street store and see a piece of clothing clearly inspired by Saint Laurent. Of course, made from not nearly as high quality materials but the actual concept is there. Perhaps Hedi's vision appeals more to the masses than those who buy luxury fashion, and that Hedi's designs are too commercially ready and don't have that luxury factor you'd expect from the prices Saint Laurent retails at.

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