Pictured: YSL Spring ’17, Illustrated by Hilton Dresden
Later today, Anthony Vaccarello will present his Women’s Ready-To-Wear collection in Paris. According to T Magazine, the newly appointed designer will present his first set of men’s looks—apart from a single model in sheer blouse and trousers shown at his debut in September. Following Hedi Slimane’s departure in April, the slot usually reserved for Saint Laurent menswear has remained vacant for two seasons. A curious choice, given that menswear was one of the fastest growing sectors in the business.
Although Kering does not release a break down by gender, under Slimane the brand saw double-digit growth for consecutive quarters. With the men in leather jackets and jhodpur boots flooding the streets, and the recent boost in men’s sales across the luxury spectrum, it’s clear that the male market cannot be ignored.
Unlike Slimane, who has had a devout men’s following since his days at Dior Homme, Vaccarello has limited experience in menswear—his eponymous line was exclusively women’s. While he did dabble with men’s designs while at Versus Versace, he is primarily interested in womenswear. According to multiple sources, even with the brief display of menswear set to be unveiled later today, Vaccarello is relatively uninvolved in the men’s side of the business at Saint Laurent.
Indeed, the two seasons since his appointment have been stocked with staid Slimane era re-issues. With a rabid male fan base and a burgeoning men’s designer market, will Saint Laurent let the men’s line fall behind? Or, rather, like some have suggested, bring in a dedicated men’s designer to reinvigorate the slick rocker chic look Slimane ushered in? Only time will tell. However, today’s presentation will be a strong indicator of what is to come.