As fashion houses look beyond the confines of their field to fuel and expand their creative reach, many have looked towards the world of art as potential collaborators. The vision? To become beacons of culture. Luxury fashion house Saint Laurent has been gathering momentum toward that destination under Anthony Vaccarello, the brand’s creative director since 2016. Besides seasonal runway shows during fashion week, Vaccarello is also the creative mind behind Saint Laurent Rive Droite, a creative and cultural destination where fashion meets art and more.
To take this endeavour to the next level, the brand has announced a new arm: Saint Laurent Productions. A registered subsidiary that will of the Maison and the first luxury brand to count full-fledged production of films among its activity. Vaccarello will lead the project, and the brand says it will align with how the designer has envisioned Saint Laurent to be in the future while “echoing the cinematic breadth and nuances of his collections.”
This move into the cinematic world had already been foreshadowed. Those following Saint Laurent would take notice of its recent men’s campaign featuring film directors Pedro Almodóvar, David Cronenberg, Jim Jarmusch and Abel Ferrara. WWD reported that Saint Laurent Productions would act as co-producers with David Cronenberg and Paolo Sorrentino’s long-standing collaborators to ease the brand’s formal foray into the filming industry.
Saint Laurent Productions will debut at the upcoming 76th Cannes Film Festival this May. It will premiere its first film “Strange Way of Life” by Pedro Almodóvar, starring Ethan Hawke and Pedro Pascal. “This is a queer Western in the sense that there are two men, and they love each other, and they behave in that situation in an opposite way,” Almodóvar said. The costume designs have been made by Vaccarello, and with the new production arm, the designer will be conceptualising the clothing and accessories when he works on new projects with different directors.
Upcoming films on the horizon encompass fresh cinematic works from distinguished filmmakers David Cronenberg and Paolo Sorrentino. “These directors never fail to open my mind and, in a way, the singular, radical vision they bring to cinema has made me the person I am today,” shares Vaccarello.
For the Kering-owned fashion house, this new venture could be seen as the group levelling Saint Laurent’s status in its portfolio of other brands, including powerhouse Gucci. Past financial results from the group had consistently shown that profits from Saint Laurent grew, and this is a nod to Vaccarello’s vision for the brand. The newly formed production arm will represent another avenue for the brand to reach a wider audience and surpass the constrain of ephemerality often associated with clothes; in contrast, “a film is something you can still see in 10, 20, 30 years of it’s a good film.”
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