This time the rumor involves Theyskens taking over for Stefano Pilati at YSL. Here’s the problem with that scenario. Pilati, despite persistent murmurs of executive misgivings, recently signed a contract for another three years at YSL. So there.
However, we’ve also heard that others have been approached about the job, including Christophe Decarnin, Hedi Slimane and Raf Simons. Apparently they’ve all declined, most likely because Pierre Bergé has no interest in seeing the YSL brand continue. He’d rather see it killed and the legacy remain untouchable, observed only from afar through exhibitions, films, auctions, etc. As his foundation still controls the YSL archives, he can and does make life difficult for whomever wants a closer look at the house’s DNA. Furthermore, while the CEO of YSL is an excellent businesswoman, she is, as they say, a ball-breaker. So the job isn’t a walk in the park, to say the least.
Now back to Theyskens. We don’t know if he’s also been approached about YSL. It’s plausible. Either way, we think he’s waiting for that much-publicized theoretical moment in 2012 when Karl Lagerfeld, upon his 30th anniversary, retires from Chanel and Alber Elbaz moves in, leaving the top spot at Lanvin open for the still-young Belgian designer. Of course, Lagerfeld has stated he’ll never retire, but it has to happen sometime. As a distraction, it’s thought he’ll stage a massive, never-before-seen, no-expense-spared farewell. And certainly he’ll never stop being an opinionated, larger-than-life presence in fashion.