LONDON, United Kingdom — As widely speculated, Anthony Vaccarello has been appointed creative director of Yves Saint Laurent. Yves Saint Laurent and parent company Kering confirmed the news in a joint statement today. On Sunday, Versace announced that Vaccarello had left his role as creative director of Versus Versace, hot on the heels of Hedi Slimane’s exit from Yves Saint Laurent.
“I am extremely happy to have Anthony Vaccarello take the creative helm of Yves Saint Laurent," said Francesca Bellettini, president and chief executive officer of Yves Saint Laurent. "His modern, pure aesthetic is the perfect fit for the maison. Anthony Vaccarello impeccably balances elements of provocative femininity and sharp masculinity in his silhouettes. He is the natural choice to express the essence of Yves Saint Laurent. I am enthusiastic about embarking on a new era with Anthony Vaccarello, and together bringing the maison further success.”
François-Henri Pinault, chairman and CEO of Kering, added: “I am very proud to welcome such a vivid and young force among today’s creative fashion talents to Yves Saint Laurent. Anthony Vaccarello’s unique style will greatly express the maison’s creative signature and fashion authority, building on the brand’s solid foundations, and further developing it to realise its full potential. Together with the entire Yves Saint Laurent team, Anthony Vaccarello will strongly contribute to the maison’s growing accomplishments.”
“Mr Saint Laurent is a legendary figure for his creativity, style and audacity," said Vaccarello. "I am extremely grateful for the opportunity to contribute to the history of this extraordinary house.”
Vaccarello, 36, spent three years at Versus Versace, initially as a consultant and, since 2015, as creative director. He is not the only Versus designer to graduate to a major house: Jonathan Anderson joined the brand in 2013, shortly before he was appointed creative director of Loewe.
Alongside his role at Versus, Belgian-born Vaccarello has overseen his eponymous label since 2009, known for its sexuality-laced collections of slashed and laced-up mini skirts, cleavage-baring suit jackets worn over corsets and shiny black leather outerwear, which the designer approached with what BoF editor-at-large Tim Blanks described as a "single-mindedness" somewhat comparable to Hedi Slimane's at Saint Laurent.
"Vaccarello is one of the most reputed designers on the market today," commented Luca Solca, head of luxury goods at Exane BNP Paribas. "He has done a great job at Versace. Slimane’s shoes are big to fill at Saint Laurent. Vaccarello would clearly have a challenge cut out for himself there."
Indeed, in his four years as creative and image director of Yves Saint Laurent, Slimane’s grunge-soaked collections of bomber jackets, skinny jeans and minidresses helped drive the business to €974 million (just over $1 billion) in sales revenue, up from €707 million in 2014. According to Sanford C. Bernstein, from 2012 to 2014, Saint Laurent revenues grew more than 20 percent each year, outperforming the overall market for luxury goods.
Vaccarello’s first collection for the house will be Spring/Summer 2017, and is set to be shown in October, during Paris Fashion Week. What will become of Vaccarello’s eponymous label is not known. Attempts to access its website today yielded an error message.