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Will Fall 2011 be Stefano Pilati's Swan Song at YSL?

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This just in from the Paris rumor mill: the Kenzo publicist tweeted this morning that a major designer at a just-lost-its-CEO French fashion house will be showing his final collection this upcoming Paris fashion week—and will be replaced by another designer who left design a few years back but has stayed in the industry orbit. This all plays well with the longstanding rumor that Yves Saint Laurent wants creative director Stefano Pilati out—and lines up well with the news that YSL's CEO, Valerie Hermann, left her post at the house last week.

Late last year, we reported on the rumor that due to critical un-acclaim and commercial un-success YSL was actively looking for Pilati's replacement—in fact, CEO Hermann herself attended designer Haider Ackermann's spring show, albeit it incognito, sparking gossip that Ackermann was in serious contention for the job. Word in Paris is that YSL had also seen Raf Simons, currently creative director at Jil Sander, but talks went nowhere.

While we wait to see how things play out in Paris in a couple of weeks, it's fun to speculate. One of the big names currently being bandied about on the internet as a potential replacement for Pilati is Hedi Slimane—the erstwhile creative director of Dior Homme who previously worked for three years at Yves Saint Laurent Homme in the late-90s. The Slimane choice would make sense, stylistically, considering the house also seriously considered Simons' minimalist tailored aesthetic—Slimane's look, while along the same vein, possesses a sense of underlying dark glamour that Simons' strict austerity doesn't address. Additionally, during his YSL years and early tenure at Dior, Slimane achieved tremendous critical and commercial success—not to mention nearly-single-handedly redefining contemporary menswear silhouettes. (Seriously, this is the man whose suits were so amazing, they inspired Karl Lagerfeld to drop 100 pounds.)

Any other guesses?
· @kenzopr [Twitter]
· Rumor: Haider Ackermann a candidate to oust Stefano Pilati at YSL [Racked]