To promote the launch of its spring 2017 collection, Anthony Vaccarello - the former Versace designer who made his debut at the helm of Saint Laurent in October - released a short film starring hip-hop artist and music producer Travis Scott. Directed by Nathalie Canguilhem, it shows Scott and a cast of models on a languorous desert road trip, spliced with footage of a burning car and a swimming pool.
Vaccarello's predecessor, Hedi Slimane, made deep inroads into southern California's rock music community during his three years at the helm. He moved Saint Laurent's design studio from Paris to Los Angeles; cast Sky Ferreira, Kim Gordon, Courtney Love and Marilyn Manson in his campaigns; and hired little-known bands to play at his shows. In the process, music became a central pillar of the Saint Laurent brand. It is a foundation that Vaccarello appears eager to build upon, albeit with a different cast of characters.
New York stylist David Casavant, who outfitted Scott for his "Antidote" video, believes that Scott's casting shows "that the brand is changed, and more in touch with what youth actually care about today."
"I don't think [Scott] was necessarily a natural fit for the Saint Laurent brand before, even though I think a brand like that should be about fronting someone like Travis in their campaigns," he tells Billboard.
There is nothing superficial about Scott's enthusiasm for fashion. "Travis is a bold artist with a strong sense of style," says Graham Rothenberg, vp marketing at boutique entertainment marketing agency The Syndicate. "His unique look works well with a brand like Yves Saint Laurent, who shares a similarly progressive nature."
Casavant concurs: "I love that he's so interested in wearing vintage because it shows that he appreciates clothes behind just the 'hype'" - adding that, for Scott, style is an essential tool for connecting with fans. "I think especially during this time, fans are looking for someone like him who breaks the mold and uses his music, clothes and just his attitude to get out an important message."
This article first appeared on Billboard.com.