Since Anthony Vaccarello took the reins at Saint Laurent, the brand has been gradually rolling out its campaigns by numbering them, thus giving the feel that the company is moving through promotions in phases that are perhaps building and expanding on the branding.
YSL01 debuted before Anthony Vacarello showed his first collection. The black-and-white images shot by Collier Schorr (and accompanying videos directed by Nathalie Canguilhem) seemed like a re-birth for the brand. YSL02 dropped during fashion month, with a surprise billboard that popped up in New York. The ads (with short videos that came later) were lensed by Inez and Vinoodh, and gave more of a hint as to what direction Vaccarello was going to take the clothing.
In the post-show world, the brand now has physical product to anchor its imagery, which leads us to YSL03, a full-length advertisement. Saint Laurent has been teasing the video on its Instagram for about a week now, but it left the biggest reveal--its star--until the debut. Today, the full film, directed again by Canguilhem, has hit, and it features rapper Travi$ Scott.
Scott is a great choice to star in the campaign as he is not only a game model (allowing himself to literally be set on fire), but he's a bit of a fashion darling, with previous modeling gigs for Nike, Mark McNairy, and Alexander Wang. But being a musician, fashion fans can't help but not see the connection to Hedi Slimane's ads for Saint Laurent, which notably used rock stars.
There are some strong visuals in the piece (the print campaign, if it pulls from this, should be great), but something about the video feels a bit forced. Saint Laurent has been straddling the identity shift from a turnover in designers by taking it slow, but here’s to hoping that now that the public is aware that things are a-ok under Vaccarello’s eye, the brand will be willing to move forward in a fresh and authentic direction.