This just in. Hedi Slimane, head designer of YSL has decided to drop “Yves” from Yves Saint Laurent, rebranding the fashion label to simply Saint Laurent to attract a younger audience.
My first thoughts are, you are destroying your strong brand equity. Everyone on the street knows and aspires towards YSL. Saint Laurent would alienate existing customers and might not achieve that desired appeal to the younger crowd as good as a sub-brand approach, as seen in Y-3 by Yohji Yamamoto or Miu Miu by Prada.
There are more ways to establish oneself in the fashion world than destroying your brand. Then again, only time will tell if YSL will survive this or turn out stronger.
More news have since come in about YSL’s rebranding:
As part of our strategy to become one of the world’s true leaders in fashion and luxury, we are transforming the name of our brand from ‘Yves Saint Laurent’ to ‘Saint Laurent Paris.’
The brand identity and visual language will be introduced over the next several months and will be fully in place for the Spring/Summer 2013 collection.
This change celebrates our legacy and heritage, while boldly marking our ambition for the future.It will allow us to return to the fundamentals of YSL and revive the spirit and the intentions that reigned over the creation of ‘Saint Laurent Rive Gauche’ in 1966: principles of youth, freedom, and modernity.– Saint Laurent CEO Paul Deneve, reported by Fashionology
Taking a step back, the Luxury industry has been hard at work to engage the younger and more socially connected consumers of today. Burberry launched Burberry Bespoke, a portal that lets you customize your own trench coat, while more and more brands are engaging technology to promote their products. A brand, however strong, can no longer sit back and see the profits roll in without some work.