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Hedi Slimane Responds to YSL Name Change Criticism

Some of the industry's biggest names commented on Hedi Slimane changing the name of Yves Saint Laurent to Saint Laurent Paris, but Slimane himself had remained silent until recently. The designer finally explained his reasons for the shift in an interview with Vanity Fair.

"It is interesting to see how much reaction this retro branding has created," Slimane said. "Clearly, this period of the history of the house was not well-known, which I trust was a surprise for Pierre Bergé. I went back to 1966 — just before the events of 1968 [when 11 million workers revolted against the conservative politics of then-President Charles de Gaulle — the biggest general strike in history], but the awakening of youth was in the air, and Yves Saint Laurent wanted to dissociate himself from the clientele of haute couture and embrace this new generation."

Since Slimane announced the name change in June, Arizona Muse, Karl Lagerfeld, and Bergé himself have publicly voiced their support for the change. When the house revealed an image of the new branding on Facebook last month, its followers were not as enthusiastic. One called the new name and logo "an act of disrespect" against the house's founder.

Saint Laurent, who would have turned 76 last week, was considered a pioneer in ready-to-wear when he founded Saint Laurent Rive Gauche in 1966, but he continued to design couture until he retired from fashion in 2002.

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