The British Advertising Standards Authority has issued its ruling on the Saint Laurent Spring/Summer 2014 ad campaign. The ASA launched a review of the Hedi Slimane-lensed campaign, starring models Natalie Westling and Nastya Sten, after receiving a complaint that the models depicted were too thin. (One complaint is nothing compared to 950 complaints that the ASA received in 2000, stemming from the house's Opium fragrance campaign starring a naked Sophie Dahl - More about that here). The complaint, which challenges the Saint Laurent campaign for being "irresponsible because the featured model [is] unhealthily thin," appears to have coincided with the Change.org petition launched by UK-based blogger, Shannon Bradley-Colleary, who stated that the ad “struck [her] as particularly cruel.”
The casting is not out of the ordinary for the Paris-based design house, which has a strong preference for heroin chic - in terms of cut and silhouette and in terms of the models - a signature that dates back to Slimane's days at Dior Homme.According to the ASA, an independent regulator of advertising across all media in the UK, the models are at issue are, in fact, thin, but they do "not appear to be unhealthily underweight" and as such, the campaign is not irresponsible. According to its response to the ASA inquiry, "Yves Saint Laurent SAS indicated that they did not agree with the complainant's view that the model was unhealthily thin, but did not provide a detailed response."
In other news, sales at YSL are way up. According to a statement from Kering (parent company to YSL, Gucci, Bottega Veneta, Balenciaga, etc.) regarding the first fiscal quarter of 2014, quarterly revenue rose fastest at Saint Laurent, which reported a 27 percent increase, well exceeding analysts’ estimates for 18 percent growth. According to a statement from Kering, ready-to-wear and leather-goods growth at Saint Laurent was “outstanding.”