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Yves Saint Laurent woos eco-friendly with recycled fabric line

January 5, 2011

YSL's collection makes vintage new again


French designer Yves Saint Laurent is taking strides into greener fields with New Vintage III, a line of apparel made from recycled fabric from the brand’s archives.

The brand is making 180 articles of clothing for this particular line with its recycled fabric. The clothing will be available in participating boutiques in New York, London and Paris.

“New Vintage is meant to be part of a process,” said Stefano Pilati, creative director at Yves Saint Laurent, Paris.

“It is a general attempt to give a sensibility and an education to our public so that it can act consciously toward its environment,” he said.

Yves Saint Laurent’s apparel collections include women's and men's ready-to-wear, shoes, handbags, small leather goods, jewelery, scarves, ties and eyewear.

The brand is owned by Gucci Group, which is owned by the conglomerate Pinault-Printemps-Redoute.

New Vintage collections

New Vintage III will be the third collection in Pilati’s eco-friendly initiatives.

Each collection has unique items which are individually numbered and strictly limited edition.

Pilati has taken nods from his most popular collections and re-invented them with new fabrics.

Most of the pieces in New Vintage III will pay homage to the brand’s iconic 1970s designs.

Metallic wide-leg trousers, velvet tuxedo suiting jackets and leopard-print wrap dresses are some of the designs that will be available at the three flagship stores.

Yves Saint Laurent’s first New Vintage collection featured trench coats, dip-dyed bustier dresses, separates, sandals and downtown bags.

New Vintage II had sharp jackets, pleated trousers, romantic blouses, artfully seamed shift dresses.

The brand has been pushing the collection through its Facebook page, its Web site and various media efforts.

Fashion trends

Most brands in the luxury industry that tend to go green are automakers who make hybrid cars with fewer carbon dioxide emissions or electric cars that are charged instead of fueled.

However, it seems that going green is a trend for luxury fashion retailers, as well.

For example, Stuart Weitzman is using animal-friendly bags made of salmon skin instead of leather (see story).

Now that Yves Saint Laurent is following suit, it seems plausible that other luxury retailers will find ways to make vintage new again.

“That the collection is materially comprised of garments made from recycled fabric and from existing patterns instead of new ones is to start a dialogue with the market using known codes and a common language that are reassuring and familiar,” Mr. Pilati said.

Final take

Rachel Lamb, editorial assistant at Luxury Daily, New York