Anthony Vaccarello's Saint Laurent has established itself as the purest style of the brand. About to present his Spring 2024 collection, Vaccarello has successfully merged completely with the spirit of the house.
Anthony Vaccarello was then an up-and-coming young creative. At 28, the young designer had embarked on the conquest of the French fashion capital. His aesthetic revolved around structural pieces in dark tones. Vaccarello infused a punk air into the elegance of Parisian style.
VACCARELLO LANDS AT SAINT LAURENT
His appointment in 2016 came just days after the departure of Hedi Slimane. Hedi Slimane's Saint Laurent had revolved around his fascination with youth. Vaccarello's task was to reintroduce Saint Laurent as a brand for more generations. His creativity focused on the vintage elegance of the house. Vaccarello took an unusual step in the industry: he set aside his personal signature to focus 100% on Saint Laurent.
Thus, his first collection for spring 2017 was a complete success. With a palatial backdrop and spotlight effects, now a staple of all his shows, the collection was a seamless transition from Slimane. Eighties silhouettes and cuts from vintage models took centre stage on the runway. It was here that the house's aesthetic line was established:
“She’s certainly not bourgeois or classic. She has a huge respect for Saint Laurent, but not in the first degree. So I thought of her taking a vintage dress and cutting into it.”
Anthony Vaccarello, as quoted by Sara Mower for Vogue US (2017)
THE EIGHTIES SOLIDIFY
The cultural impact of the 80s is undeniable. Music, aesthetics, urban cultures, cinema... the 80s were a time of the birth of much of our current fashion. From pronounced shoulder pads, one-shoulder dresses, ripped clothing, and more. Behind this array of options were solid cultural pillars. Musical tastes, revolutionary ideologies, and a new critical thinking were part of the construction of "urban tribes."
It might seem that fashions and trends sometimes strip the cultural meaning for purely aesthetic factors. It might seem that they do so in favour of purely aesthetic factors. But luxury brands like Saint Laurent clothing bring a new sense to fashion.
Every Saint Laurent collection is filled with cultural references, both internal and external. Vaccarello forged his own wings to fly independently with the brand. His work is tied to Francesca Belletini, who joined Saint Laurent as CEO at the same time as him. Together, they formed one of the most powerful duos in fashion. Since 2016, they have achieved profits of 16 billion euros for Saint Laurent. Currently, Belletini is preparing to take on the role of CEO of the KERING group.
THE BUSINESS OF FASHION
Behind the mysterious aura, behind the musical aesthetic, behind the otherworldly settings of Saint Laurent's pre-collections... Behind all of this lies a business strategy. Fashion is an industry that combines creativity channelled through business. Francesca Belletini brought her extensive experience to serve Saint Laurent.
The business strategy is a challenge faced by many great creatives. That's why brands like Saint Laurent have large specialised teams. With two decades of experience at KERING, Belletini was the perfect candidate to relaunch the brand alongside the new creative.