It may not be Saint Laurent without Yves, but now it’s Colette without YSL.
According to WWD, the fashion house has severed the 15-year business relationship with the iconic Paris retailer due to Hedi Slimane’s dislike of the parody YSL sweatshirts sold in-store. Additionally, Slimane cancelled the shop’s Spring 2014 orders for the collection — a loss of € 211,531, or $285,738 wholesale. Sarah Andelman, Colette’s creative director, was also uninvited to the Saint Laurent show.
Clearly an instance of overreacting on Slimane’s part?
Andelman claims that YSL’s commercial director asked her to remove the tees from the site in September, which she did, and noted that she would sell the remaining stock in the brick-and-mortar store. Francesca Bellettini, YSL’s new CEO, accused Andelman of selling counterfeit products that “seriously damaged” the YSL brand. She also confirmed the end of their business relationship.
If you ask us, this is clearly an instance of overreacting on Slimane’s part. The items do not claim to be designed by Saint Laurent, and are stocked on an entirely different level of the store, separate from the designer goodies. Additionally, the graphic tees and sweatshirts have been popular among everyone from the fashion crowd to the streets, due to their relatively low price and tongue-in-cheek slogans. Our editors even have a few themselves.
Colette’s creative director, was also uninvited to the Saint Laurent show.
Colette stocks multiple other parody tees, including “Céline Dion”, “Homiés”, and “Karl Who?”—an ode to devoted Colette shopper, Karl Lagerfeld. While none of the other parodied designers or personalities have explicitly asked Andelman to pull all of the offending stock out of the store, she has noticed that several “big brands” have asked her to remove Instagram photos of their products.
While the loss of YSL is a blow for our favorite Parisian boutique, we hope that this backlash is not a trend that other designers and houses will follow.