Saint Laurent names Anthony Vaccarello as new creative director

New Saint Laurent creative director Anthony Vaccarello appears on the runway at the Versus show during London Fashion Week Spring/Summer 2016. (Photo by Ian Gavan/Getty Images)
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A new creative director at Saint Laurent has been named, following the not-so-shocking departure of Hedi Slimane on Friday.

Enter Anthony Vaccarello, the 36 year old former head designer at Versus, the diffusion line of Versace, who announced that he was stepping down from his role just hours before being named on Monday as the new head of Saint Laurent.

Slimane finally announced his departure from Saint Laurent last Friday, amid months of persistent rumours that he was set to leave. Under Slimane’s four year leadership, the label underwent many significant changes, most drastically the dropping of the name Yves from the company. Under Slimane’s direction, the design studio was moved from Paris to Los Angeles, all the stores, and their furniture, were redesigned, and the advertising campaigns were taken in a new direction, shifting the brand’s focus towards a younger, cooler, and altogether hipper consumer.

Despite widespread industry criticism at the upheaval, however, customers were very supportive. The proof, in the end, was in the profits, which rose a staggering 400 per cent in four years.

Like Slimane, Vaccarello has had his fair share of financial success. Since taking over as creative head at Versus in 2015, he has been a force behind the brand's decision to jump aboard the see now/buy now revolution currently taking place in fashion. His decision to allow customers to buy looks straight off the runway has seen Versus revenue increase by 21 per cent in only a year.

The speed of Vaccarello’s appointment at Saint Laurent suggests that perhaps he had been lined up to take over the role for some time. “I am extremely happy to have Anthony Vaccarello take the creative helm of Yves Saint Laurent,” said Francesca Bellettini, the president and chief executive of Yves Saint Laurent, who adds that “[Vaccarello’s] modern, pure aesthetic is the perfect fit for the maison”.