>> For the better part of a year now, Stefano Pilati's standing at Yves Saint Laurent has been under intense scrutiny. After reports circulated that he had renewed his contract at the house for three more years in October, the rumors of his imminent departure subsided — until Saint Laurent CEO Valerie Hermann, who with Pilati restored the house to profitability, announced last week she was stepping down to become CEO of Reed Krakoff on April 1. She helped recruit her successor at YSL, former Lanvin CEO Paul Deneve.
Then, a couple of days ago, someone tweeted under Kenzo's PR handle: "Just heard BIG news about this being a certain designer at an established French house's last season and being replaced by someone major!!" and "CEO has just left and now the designer replaced by someone who has moved away from design the last couple of yrs but stayed in fashion." The tweets — which seem to point to Pilati as the deposed and Hedi Slimane as the successor — have since been taken down (Note that YSL is under the PPR umbrella, whereas Kenzo is part of LVMH).
Now, Hint is reporting that according to sources, Hermann didn't leave her post last week, but rather was let go because of low sales volume. And Slimane — who designed for Saint Laurent before Dior Homme — has been chosen as Pilati's replacement, partially due to his friendship (read: ability to get along) with Pierre Berge. Word is, one way or another, the matter will be addressed by a spokesperson around Paris Fashion Week.
And in the aftermath? There's already been suggestions that Carine Roitfeld with consult for Slimane at the brand, and of course, there's the rumor that Pilati is set to take over at Giorgio Armani after the designer's retirement.