Is Raf Simons set to REPLACE Stefano Pilati at Yves Saint Laurent?

26 September 2011

Raf Simons at the Jils Sander show taking his bow

Raf Simons acknowleged his applause in a striking jumper at this weekend's Jil Sander show

So, Raf Simons, designer of Jil Sander ready to wear will be on his way to head up Yves Saint Laurent in the near future if two of the most reputable fashion industry sources are to be believed. Highly placed, some might say impeccably placed; Suzy Menkes of the International Herald Tribune as quoted in the Business of Fashion blog – itself a trustworthy oracle, we feel.

What’s the truth? Poor old Stefano Pilati is always being battered and buffeted by rumours that his demise is imminent – which for the past year or two have always proved to be greatly exaggerated. Why are we bothering to report this latest development? Because we don’t think Suzy Menkes would risk her reputation by creating a big palaver like this if it was a false alarm. She’s in a teeny handful of the most respected, long running, gravitas-possessing fashion journalists there is – it’s not as if some upstart who needed to direct a lot of traffic to their blog, was saying this for the hits and attention.

Stefano Pilati takes a bow at the YSL show

Stefano Pilati takes his bow last season - the YSL show will be next week in Paris . . .

In her own words; ‘if Raf Simons ultimately takes over the helm at Yves Saint Laurent — as those familiar with the situation in Paris suggest — the designer will have found a sweet spot for his meticulous modernism.’

And, in his thoughtful post on the subject, Business of Fashion’s cerebral founder and editor, Imran Amed, put it this way; 

‘Up until now, there has been no rebuttal [in the past, they have reacted to such insinuations on their twitter feed] from YSL. And, Ms. Menkes’ news was published in the International Herald Tribune and on The New York Times website, organisations which operate under strict journalistic codes. While still not a 100 percent guarantee, this holds much more weight in our books than a rogue tweet from a competing brand.’

Raf himself has floated the idea that his work at Jil Sander will come to an end at some point, but so far hasn’t hinted one way or another why this might be . . .

Curiouser and curiouser! More news as we get it, fashion fans!

**UPDATE** A source close to the designer has just told us that this weekend's rumours regarding Raf Simons are 'just speculations' and there is 'absolutely no succession plan for Stefano Pilati'.

**UPDATE #2** Yves Saint Laurent have just released the following official statement: 'Yves Saint Laurent disclaims and regards as unfounded the current rumors concerning the creative direction of the house. Stefano Pilati continues to dedicate his talent and energies to Yves Saint Laurent and the coming fashion show'.


-Naomi Attwood


All posts must obey the house rules, if you object to any comments please let us know and we'll take the appropriate action.