How Anthony Vaccarello Made Saint Laurent His Own

IMAGINE, IF YOU will, that it’s 2016 and you’re Anthony Vaccarello, a reserved and relatively untested fashion designer from Belgium. At 34, you’ve been hired as the new creative director of Saint Laurent, a half-century-old, billion-dollar French fashion house whose heavily mythologized founder, Yves Saint Laurent, created the modern woman’s wardrobe. Growing up, your only two dreams were to live in Paris, preferably with a view of the Eiffel Tower, and to make clothes. Without any industry connections, you managed to circumvent your greatest fear: a life of mediocrity. Your initial reaction is that you deserve this. Your second is, “Now what?”

That spring, Vaccarello arrived for his first day

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