From winning the ANDAM prize in 2011 to his role as creative director at Saint Laurent since 2016, Vaccarello has been acclaimed around the globe for his sensual rock ‘n’ roll dresses shining with Swarovski crystals. The Austrian brand has supported the rising designer since his brilliant beginnings, and his appointment at the Parisian fashion house has only strengthened a collaboration that goes back to the radiant success of Yves Saint Laurent in the 60s and 70s.
Freshly graduated from Brussels’ La Cambre School, Vaccarello won the Grand Prix du Festival d’Hyères in 2006 and after a stint in Fendi’s fur ateliers, he launched his eponymous brand in 2009. Two years later the designer took home the prestigious ANDAM Prize supported by Swarovski, which granted €10,000 of crystals for the winner’s upcoming collection.
Following this milestone, his Spring/Summer 2013 show reached dazzling new heights in front of an audience in awe. The designer dressed some of the hottest models of the moment, including Anja Rubik, Joan Smalls and Karlie Kloss, to walk down the runway with his dark crystallized asymmetric dresses. This collection was the first to be presented in Paris as part of the Swarovski Collective, an initiative stemming from the partnership between Nadja Swarovski, Isabella Blow and Alexander McQueen in 1999 to support emerging designers in producing some of the most ground-breaking fashion looks with crystal as the ultimate ingredient.
Sculptural yet wearable looks adorned with black and red stones shone elegantly in Vaccarello’s Fall/Winter 2014 show, his second and last collection supported by the Swarovski Collective before he joined Versace’s younger line Versus. And when the designer was appointed creative director of Saint Laurent in 2016, Vaccarello took its shimmering sex appeal to the next level. He found in the dark and rock new codes of the house imposed by Hedi Slimane, his own love for gritty glamour. And he explored the legacy of Yves Saint Laurent’s glamourous androgynous aesthetic, originally brought to life with a touch of crystal in couture gowns and jackets worn by Saint Laurent muse Betty Catroux in the 70s.
Vaccarello steered the house back to its Parisian chic style and, for Fall/Winter 2017, presented crystalized party dresses and black suits reminiscent of Yves Saint Laurent’s classic Le Smoking. Sparkling thigh-high boots were also part of the runway’s show-stopping accessories and became an iconic staple that would turn heads of both faithful fans and new supporters of the brand. With such a fervent following, it’s clear that Anthony Vaccarello holds the future in his hands.