In Berlin, the Saint Laurent “Family” Finds the Next Frontier of Menswear Blouses


At Monday night’s Saint Laurent runway show in Berlin, plenty of front row guests pointed their phones at the latest evolution of Anthony Vaccarello’s seductive menswear collection. But among the slick VIPs who swanned into the Neue Nationalgalerie dressed in Anthony Vaccarello’s dramatic new designs, there was not one traditional fashion influencer. 

“Never,” said Vaccarello backstage shortly before the lights went down. “Even with the [women’s shows], there are no influencers. We pay attention to that.” 

Influencers are, of course, as inescapable a part of the modern fashion industry as sneakers. But when it comes to generating hype—what he would call desire—through the grand marketing complex of fashion shows, Vaccarello has a different vision than many of the creative directors atop other multi-billion-dollar brands . As the sun dipped over the German capital, around 200 guests quaffed champagne in the monumental atrium of the Mies van der Rohe-designed modern art museum. There were no Internet stars among them, nor even any triple-A-list celebrities—the big game of front rows that are increasingly coveted by brands hoping to stand out in the cutthroat social media arena. 

Instead, many in the crowd would only be familiar to those who have followed Vaccarello’s year-long rise to new critical and commercial heights in menswear. Last July, the Belgian-Italian designer unveiled a career-defining collection in Marrakech, introducing a fresh vision for Saint Laurent menswear that echoes his romantic and elegant women’s designs. And as he’s broken away from the rocker archetypes he had inherited from predecessor Hedi Slimane, Vaccarello has designed a scene around the house with the same precision with which he tailors the shoulder of a jacket. 

Call it the cult of Saint Laurent: a devilishly-dressed inner circle that might be the most exclusive in fashion. “Everyone’s like family,” the actor and skater Evan Mock, a YSL regular attending his fourth show, said shortly before taking his seat on a Barcelona stool. Nearby, Spanish actor Manu Ríos, wearing a floor-grazing leather duster, caught up with songwriter Conan Gray, as OG Yves Saint Laurent muse Betty Catroux mingled with Vaccarello muse Anja Rubik. 

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In Berlin, the Saint Laurent “Family” Finds the Next Frontier of Menswear Blouses

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