YSL's Mass Emails and Threats

A few weeks ago, Yves Saint Laurent’s PR team wrote to industry blog Business of Fashion ("BoF"), asking that they edit a tweet that referred to the recent ad campaign as "Saint Laurent Paris" because apparently, it is simply called Saint Laurent. This is only once of the many correspondences that BOF has received from YSL. In fact, BOF's founder, Imran Amed says in a recent piece, "Every single time BoF has written about YSL (or Saint Laurent, or Saint Laurent Paris) we have received some kind of request to change the article to comply with what seem like the whims of the brand’s PR team." 

Don't forget about the mass email that was sent out last week instructing media on the how to refer to the brand, especially given Hedi Slimane's recent changes. The email said: “The House is referred to as ‘Yves Saint Laurent.’ The ready-to-wear collection by Hedi Slimane is correctly referred to as ‘Saint Laurent’. (‘Saint Laurent Paris’ is used in the logo but not when spoken/written about the collection). Collection credits, should you photograph any items, is [sic] correctly written ‘Saint Laurent by Hedi Slimane.’"

In case you're not familiar with BOF, it is a reputable blog and their misunderstanding about the new branding sheds light on a larger problem: If they don't understand it, who actually does? And it seems that YSL's reaction to such misunderstanding is both offensive and ineffective, and thus, unsustainable. The YSL team has obviously resorted to policing publications (and their Twitter accounts) for errors and unfavorable tones of voice, as well as plain old threats. After refusing to change a piece, Amed received an email from YSL basically saying, "we won’t collaborate on any kind of project in the future.”

YSL and Slimane seem to be making far more enemies than friends as of late, and paired with the very mediocre reviews and the minimal applause following the Spring 2013 collection, I wonder how long this behavior will last.