The latest name to enter the ring is Raf Simons, the Jil Sander designer who made bright orange maxi-skirts and overblown floral prints feel like the freshest thing in Milan for S/S ’11. Could he be replacing Stefano Pilati at Yves Saint Laurent?
Suzy Menkes seems to think so. In a report from Milan on Sunday, the International Herald Tribune critic wrote, ‘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.’ Simons wouldn’t comment on the YSL rumours, but, Menkes continued, ‘he certainly has earned an audition for that position.’
Poor Stefano. The YSL designer has been plagued by rumours of his imminent departure for at least a year. Simons has been mentioned as a possible replacement before, although the most recent round of speculation in February pointed toward Hedi Slimane. When the chatter originally arose, YSL said Pilati had just signed a new three-year contract.
YSL representatives stopped short of invoking that contract or saying that Pilati had the brand’s full support when we reached out for comment. But they did rubbish the rumours.
‘It’s just speculation. There is no succession plan for Stefano,’ a source said.
Looks like we’ll have to wait and see...