You may have caught Women’s Wear Daily writer Miles Socha’s piece, Paris Match: Hedi vs. Raf, earlier this month because Paul Deneve, the President and CEO of Saint Laurent Paris did. Apparently, he isn't too fond of WWD's treatment of the Slimane vs. Simons battle of the debuts. He also doesn't seem to like all of the press that surrounded the whole rivalry. So, Deneve took to the web to post an open letter of sorts, directed to WWD’s editor.
Deneve begins by accusing the publication of inaccurately reflecting the reviews Hedi Slimane received for his debut womenswear collection at the most recent Paris Fashion Week.
"First, the article summarises the reviews as "comparatively tepid" for "Slimane's reverential treatment of smokings (tuxedos) and bohemian dresses," only quoting three editors, one of them admittedly partial (Cathy Horyn: "a cheerleader" for Raf Simons, the article says)," writes Deneve. "This does not reflect the highly positive coverage Hedi Slimane received from the press commentators around the world, from France to Italy, Japan, China and the U.S."
Deneve goes on to say that he regrets that the well-respected publication reduced the "collective talent of all designers showing in Paris to a so-called duel between two fashion houses and two men." In part, it reads: "To caricature the arrival of Hedi Slimane at Yves Saint Laurent to a banal rivalry with another house or designer encourages people to relegate fashion to a sideshow rather than the main event. In particular, it obscures what is a much richer and I think more important moment in the fashion industry. Hedi’s choice to join YSL was motivated by a very clear vision for the house, which means round-the-clock work for him and all my teams to turn that vision into a reality for all to see and enjoy."
His final point accuses WWD of caricaturising Slimane's arrival at Yves Saint Laurent "to a banal rivalry with another house or designer", thus obscuring what was an important moment in the fashion industry and the real reason Slimane joined the storied fashion house.
"Hedi's choice to join YSL was motivated by a very clear vision for the house, which means round-the-clock work for him and all my teams to turn that vision into a reality for all to see and enjoy. It is also for them that I am writing, and to point out that the changes under way at Yves Saint Laurent will bring new excitement and change to the fashion industry at large."