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Who is Anthony Vaccarello, Saint Laurent's New Creative Director?

Apr 05, 2016

Anthony Vaccarello is to replace Hedi Slimane as creative director at the Saint Laurent label (Credit: AFP Photo/ Pierre Verdy)

​On Monday, April 4, Saint Laurent's parent company Kering announced that Belgian fashion designer, Anthony Vaccarello, will succeed photographer and fashion designer, Hedi Slimane, as creative director of the fashion house founded by couturier Yves Saint Laurent. So who exactly is this designer who, in his early thirties, has already founded his own label, worked with some of the biggest fashion houses in the business, and made the asymmetrical black dress one of his signature pieces? Here's a look back over Anthony Vaccarello's career so far.

Born in Brussels to Italian parents, Anthony Vaccarello wasn't always destined for a career in fashion, focusing instead on studying more "serious" subjects. Ultimately, Vaccarello landed a place at La Cambre, one of Belgium's most prestigious schools of art and design, graduating in the mid-2000s.

A graphic and sexy signature style

With his unquestionable and unquestioned talent, the young Belgian soon made a name for himself with a first-place win at the 2006 Hyères International Festival of Fashion and Photography, with a graphic and sensual collection inspired by pornographic movie star Ilona Staller, better known as "La Cicciolina." The win got him noticed by the fashion world, taking him straight to the forefront of the scene in Italy with a job at Fendi. Designing for the label's fur line, Anthony Vaccarello worked alongside fashion heavyweight, Karl Lagerfeld.

After a successful stint at Fendi, Vaccarello decided to go it alone, launching his own women's wear line with a first collection unveiled in 2009. His standout style immediately found its place in the crowded and competitive world of fashion, with instantly recognizable looks channeling a sophisticated, sexual, even sexy vibe, with a strong penchant for black, the rock-chic of leather and asymmetrical cuts.

Snapped up by Donatella Versace

The young Belgian designer went on to win the ANDAM (Association Nationale pour le Développement des Arts de la Mode) fashion award in 2011. And, as the years went by, Anthony Vaccarello succeeded in carving out a place for himself in the world of fashion, receiving growing support and recognition from the biggest designers in the business.

In September 2014, he designed a collection for Versace's sister label, "Versus," presented at New York Fashion Week in a catwalk show simultaneously broadcast live on the label's website. It was a new triumph for the designer, who was then promoted to creative director of Versus Versace in early 2015 by Donatella Versace herself.

Versace, who supervised his work, was an enthusiastic admirer of Anthony Vaccarello's creations. "I've followed Anthony's work from his very first collection .... I love his fresh energy and innovation, and I love being surrounded by a talent which brings newness to Versace," she said at the time.

An official announcement from the label recently confirmed that this collaboration has now ended. On April 4, Anthony Vaccarello posted a photo on social networks of himself posing alongside Donatella Versace with a heart symbol as the message -- a way of turning the page on this chapter of his career and thanking the designer for trusting and supporting him over the last few years.

A new adventure now awaits the Belgian designer, whose signature style should blend seamlessly into the rock ‘n' roll vibe left at Saint Laurent by Hedi Slimane. Before the Los Angeles-based French designer took the helm, Alber Elbaz, Tom Ford and Stefano Pilati also enjoyed stints at the Saint Laurent label.

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