On the heels of reports earlier this year that Hedi Slimane is, in fact, slated to leave his position at Saint Laurent, rumors are swirling in Paris this evening that Anthony Vaccarello (above, right) "will step up YSL should Hedi step down," per the New York Times' Elizabeth Paton. Vaccarello's name first entered the discussion earlier this year on the heels of rumors that Slimane (above, left) would leave the Paris-based design house house, which he joined in 2012. As we told you in January, a spokesman for Yves Saint Laurent insisted that rumors of creative director Hedi Slimane’s departure were merely the result of “false speculation."
The house's recent show, which was held in Los Angeles, did not aid in quieting the rumor mill. As opposed to showing menswear in Paris, Saint Laurent staged its menswear collection and Part I of its womenswear collection at the Palladium in Los Angeles on February 10th. Interestingly, the press release contained quite a little tribute to Slimane, further suggesting that the collection may be his swan song.
Despite the speculation surrounding his future, a spokesperson for YSL further insisted that the Los Angeles show "will very much be Hedi's show" - and that his next womenswear offering will be shown on March 7 in Paris as planned.
WWD further created speculation when one of its columnists included the the following excerpt in the publication's notes from the LA show last month: "Sitting front and center at Saint Laurent’s fall show, Kering chairman and chief executive François-Henri Pinault tempered rumors of Hedi Slimane’s departure by shrugging, 'We’re discussing, we have till the end of March, no rush. Tonight is about celebrating the brand, celebrating Hedi, celebrating L.A., the music, all that. Nothing else.'"
UPDATE (3/28/16): According to sources close to Vaccarello, he is slated to step into the role of creative director at Yves Saint Laurent, and the New York Times' Vanessa Friedman noted on Monday that the announcement of whether Slimane is leaving is expected sometime this week.
UPDATE (3/31/16): Per Reuters: A deal "has been signed. It should be announced on Monday," the source with first hand of the matter told Reuters, on condition of anonymity.