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When to Use Yves Saint Laurent, Saint Laurent Paris, or Saint Laurent: A Primer

There's been a lot of confusion about Hedi Slimane's rebranding of Yves Saint Laurent as Saint Laurent Paris. The Internet hasn't been so collectively confused about something since Kate Middleton became the Duchess of Cambridge. Let's clear things up, okay?

 

Here's the brand's official position, via Business of Fashion:

“The House is referred to as ‘Yves Saint Laurent.’ The ready-to-wear collection by Hedi Slimane is correctly referred to as ‘Saint Laurent’. (‘Saint Laurent Paris’ is used in the logo but not when spoken/written about the collection). Collection credits, should you photograph any items, is [sic] correctly written ‘Saint Laurent by Hedi Slimane.’”

I will 'splain it to you some more.

How to Use "Yves Saint Laurent"

The house of Yves Saint Laurent is still called Yves Saint Laurent. The original logo and brand name will remain unchanged for items like lipstick, shoes, trashbags — whatever! Legally, officially, bureaucratically, the company will be called Yves Saint Laurent. Yesterday, I received a press release from YSL, laid out on "Yves Saint Laurent" letterhead. YSL even hung banners with the original logo outside the Spring 2013 show earlier this month.

When you're discussing the brand as an entity, an umbrella for various design departments, it's correct to use the term, "Yves Saint Laurent."

How to Use "Saint Laurent Paris"

"Saint Laurent Paris" is a collection name, denoting the Slimane-designed womenswear ready-to-wear line. However, pretty much the only people allowed to use "Saint Laurent Paris" are Slimane himself or someone working under him — and even then, only for formal logo-related uses and not in casual conversation.

"Saint Laurent Paris" will be used on the official branding, but if you want to write or talk (or, implicitly, think) about the collection, "Saint Laurent" is the correct usage, whether you're an industry professional or just a casual shopper.

In addition, if you want to caption photographs of the clothing, the appropriate credit is "Saint Laurent by Hedi Slimane."

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But in the end, I just want to say, don't worry about it. Call YSL by whichever name you like most, whether it's "Saint Laurent" or "Yves Saint Laurent" or "Saint Laurent Paris" or "You're Dead to Me, French Fashion House!" Words find their real meaning through people using them.

Hedi Slimane and his crack team of publicists are the only people that should be losing sleep over questions of YSL's eight million brand names. I hope it haunts them.

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