So here we are again; Yves Saint Laurent has just published their new logo on their Facebook fan page few days ago, on a very basic box. I guess it was a way to “pre-test” the main reactions.
It’s difficult for me to have a definitive opinion on it.
On the marketing side, Saint Laurent is part of PPR. It’s no longer this little adventure by a single man with a close team. It became a massive industry. You can either deplore or celebrate it, but the main clients of Saint Laurent are not the customers living in Rue du Bac in Paris. They are Asian, live in Middle East, attend catwalks and private parties. They are the ones who put the money. So changing it to make it more “global” is not that astonishing; moreover because they keep the original monogram created by Cassandre in 1962-63. You don’t have to be a great marketer to understand that there’ll be basic Saint Laurent products vs the top luxury YSL-original items, maybe retro collection etc. Hedi Slimane has been picked not because he’s a crazy artist obliged to work in a business world; he’s been hired because he’s a fantastic brand by himself who attracts the Vogue journalists as bees on honey.
In the meantime, you can’t split a Maison inheritance as you would split a powerpoint presentation. When Cassandre designed the logo identity, he drew both a monogram AND a logotype. Cassandre is the man who “dared to break the unwritten rule of not mixing – in the same word – two type face features that are, in principle, incompatible“. The two elements are the 2 parts of the story. Keeping one and throwing the other means, to a certain extent, breaking the original idea. Maybe YSL -or Saint Laurent, Paris- we don’t know, has lacked a bit of audacity.
And that’s the big problem with fashion brands these days: who cares what your facebook fans say or comment on your page if you’re a genius? We don’t expect from a powerbrand to be weak. So if YSL wants to impose a new identity, maybe it’s time to lose a part of your customers to conquer some new ones.You don’t change the world with conservatives.
Hedi, take a shot and go for it, damn!