Saint Laurent Names Versace's Vaccarello to Replace Slimane

  • Designer will show his first fashion collection in October
  • Kering-owned Saint Laurent almost tripled sales under Slimane

Belgian fashion designer Anthony Vaccarello with Polish model Anja Rubik.

Photographer: Patrick Kovarik/AFP via Getty Images

Anthony Vaccarello, a Belgian designer known for black, figure-hugging dresses, has replaced Hedi Slimane as Yves Saint Laurent’s creative head.

Vaccarello, 36, starts at the French fashion house today and will show his first collection in October, owner Kering SA said in a statement Monday. He’s spent the past three years working alongside Donatella Versace at Versace’s Versus brand, where he became creative director in 2015. Vaccarello will focus exclusively on Saint Laurent as of October, a Kering spokeswoman said, signaling the designer will suspend his own label, which he founded in 2009.

Vacccarello has big shoes to fill as Slimane almost tripled sales in four years atop Saint Laurent, Kering’s fastest-growing brand. The owner of Gucci has now replaced creative chiefs at three of its four biggest brands in the past year, as well as at suitmaker Brioni. The changes come as luxury demand slows and rivals such as Burberry Group Plc seek to speed up delivery, making collections available for purchase immediately after they’re revealed.

“I am very proud to welcome such a vivid and young force,” Kering Chief Executive Officer Francois-Henri Pinault said in the statement, adding he expects the designer to build on Saint Laurent’s “solid foundations.” Slimane left the 55-year-old label last week.

Sales in Versus stores more than doubled last year, while revenue from third-party distributors grew 21 percent, Versace said last month.

Kering shares rose 1.2 percent to 155.60 euros at the close in Paris Monday.

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