Saint Laurent Is Reviving Its Couture Business

And bringing back the Yves

UNSPECIFIED LOCATION - OCTOBER 2012:  (EDITORS NOTE: This image was provided in B&W, a colour version is NOT available)  In this handout image provided by Yves Saint Laurent, Hedi Slimane, Yves Saint Laurent  Designer poses during a portrait session in October, 2012. (Photo by Yves Saint Laurent via Getty Images)

Hedi Slimane (Photo: Yves Saint Laurent via Getty Images)

Remember way back to 2012 when Hedi Slimane was hired to helm Yves Saint Laurent? Critics (and fashion followers) were skeptical, even more so after he chopped of the Yves and renamed the brand Saint Laurent. Since then, the French brand has achieved massive success, having doubled their revenues since Mr. Slimane joined the brand.

But there has been one part of the brand’s DNA that has been missing since its namesake founder retired in 2002: Couture. As of today, all that has changed, as Mr. Slimane is reinstating the made-to-measure business. Rather than following the rigid rules of couture, Saint Laurent will be operating in a slightly different manner. According to The New York Times, the line will not be presented on the usual couture calendar, but will make its debut in a black and white ad campaign in magazines next month. And just because a customer can afford a piece from the collection, it doesn’t mean they can buy one; the maison has made it very clear that this range will be sold exclusively to “friends of the house.” We’re assuming this means close friends of Mr. Slimane, as well as a slew of actors and musicians who frequently grace the red carpet.

Additionally, this occasion marks the return of the ‘Yves.’ Each item created in this line will be garnished with a hand-sewn label featuring the founder’s full name and every piece will be recorded in a bound gold book. The suits, gowns, and separates, for both men and women, will all be whipped up in the brand’s new atelier, located in a 17th-century mansion, Hôtel de Sénecterre. Decorated with pieces from Mr. Slimane’s personal collection and featuring separate ateliers for tailoring and dressmaking, plus a lush area to try on the clothes, this is the ultimate Yves Saint Laurent experience. Too bad we’ll probably never make it past the front doors.

Saint Laurent Is Reviving Its Couture Business