Anthony Vaccarello bravely takes on one of fashion’s most illustrious legacies at Saint Laurent.
By Max Berlinger
Imagery Nathalie Canguilhem
For most designers who take over a storied brand like Yves Saint Laurent, it’s part of the job to deal with the founder’s legacy and at YSL, that legacy casts a long shadow. Yves Saint Laurent is one of the most prolific designers of the 20th century, a man who firmly moved clothing into the modern era, a man who was obsessed with making clothing that was made for living, not just couture made for society of ladies. It has been said that no designer has ever been closer to godliness, in the eyes of the fashion industry, and specifically the French, than he.
But Italian-Belgian fashion designer Anthony Vaccarello, who was named Creative Director of the iconic French brand in April 2016, has to also wrestle with the tenure of his immediate predecessor, Hedi Slimane, whose rock ’n’ roll energy sent critics wringing their hands but sent consumers to the stores, happily buying the ineffable style of cool proffered on the runway.
“If you attempt to do the amazing things he did, the incredible things he brought to fashion, you will never re-create the past, so you always have to think of the now for Yves Saint Laurent. It’s not even really thinking about the future with this house: it always has to be about the now.” – Anthony Vaccarello