What’s the Name of the Game? Popular fashion companies are making some changes

(June 21, 2012):  Today French high fashion design company Yves Saint Laurent announced they will soon be changing their entire brand name to “Saint Laurent Paris.”  Within minutes the topic was trending across Twitter and fashion blog sites, with everyone giving their opinions on the matter.  The news release was met with widespread criticism by fans dedicated to the YSL logo, that seem to think any name change will decrease brand value.

In a statement released to the media, newly appointed YSL Creative Director Hedi Silmane explains that the name change comes after months of consideration.  His hopes are that the company’s re-branding will convey a more “modern” feel to fashion industry consumers, bringing in younger audiences and widening global interests.

The revamp of YSL might actually be coming at a perfect time for the company, when re-branding seems to be in the mainstream.  Last year the Polo Ralph Lauren Corporation made a major jump, dropping the classic incorporation of Polo in their moniker in exchange for the simpler “Ralph Lauren.” Similarly, formal dress maker Alyce Designs recently became known as “Alyce Paris.” These name changes seem to allow companies a bit of revitalization, in addition to a slew of media coverage.  J.C. Penny’s adapted to using their nickname JCP recently, in addition to a new graphics campaign, while some like Forever 21 (formerly Fashion 21) saw a massive jump in popularity with a simple name modification.

The digital age has been constantly changing culture for years – and might it be the answer to why so many companies are deciding to re-brand?  Picking a memorable name and logo that can be easily searched and shared online allows companies more recognition through a bigger, more noticeable, social following.

Lucky Magazine reports that the YSL name change will become more apparent on advertising for now, but not on actual products for some time.  Shoe soles and clothing tags will still bear the classic YSL logo until next year with the release of the Spring-Summer 2013 collection by Hedi Slimane.

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