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Almodóvar's next film will be the first by Saint Laurent's new production company

Spanish film director Pedro Almodovar poses on the red carpet upon arrival at the 36th Goya awards ceremony at the Palau de les Arts in Valencia, on February 12, 2022.
Spanish film director Pedro Almodovar poses on the red carpet upon arrival at the 36th Goya awards ceremony at the Palau de les Arts in Valencia, on February 12, 2022. Copyright AFP
Copyright AFP
By Jonny Walfisz with AFP
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Prestige fashion house Saint Laurent is swapping the catwalk for the red carpet as they announce a new venture into film production.

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Prestige fashion house Saint Laurent is swapping the catwalk for the red carpet as they announce a new venture into film production. 

Saint Laurent Productions will make its debut at this year’s Cannes Film Festival with its first production, Pedro Almodóvar's short film Strange Way of Life, starring Ethan Hawke and Pedro Pascal. 

“I want to work with all the great film talent that has inspired me over the years and give them a space,” explains Anthony Vaccarello, Saint Laurent’s creative director.

Plans for Saint Laurent Productions won’t stop at the Almodóvar film though, with future productions by acclaimed directors David Cronenberg and Paolo Sorrentino in the works.

“These directors never fail to open my mind and, in a way, the singular and radical vision they bring to cinema has made me the person I am today,” says Vaccarello.

Productions with Abel Ferrara, Wong Kar Wai, Jim Jarmusch and Gaspar Noé are also reportedly in the works.

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Italian fashion designer Anthony Vaccarello and British model Kate MossAFP

Vaccarello has been creative director of Saint Laurent since 2016. In 2017, the fashion house partnered with singers/actors Charlotte Gainsbourg and Jane Birkin as the faces for their Autumn/Winter campaign, aligning the brand more with the film world.

Under Vaccarello’s stewardship, Saint Laurent has seen increased profits, with a turnover of €3.3 billion in 2022, a 33% increase on the previous year.

The brand hasn’t released figures for how big the investment in film production will be, but it’s been confirmed that Vaccarello will work on all the costumes in the films by Saint Laurent Productions. It’s a thrilling combo, as the costumes and palettes of Almodóvar's films have always been an exciting feature of his work.

Kering Group, which owns the fashion house, has claimed that this is the first time a luxury brand has entered the film industry as a fully-fledged part of its output. The brand’s founder Yves Saint Laurent, has been the subject of multiple films, as well as an incisive documentary Yves Saint Laurent: The Last Collections released in 2019 after the brand pressured the filmmakers in 2007 not to release it.

While this marks the first time a major fashion brand has launched a film production company, it’s not the only time the worlds of fashion and film have met.

Other fashionistas in film

The most famous example is probably Tom Ford. The American fashion designer was creative director of Gucci when it acquired Saint Laurent in 1999. From then till 2004, Ford was creative director of Saint Laurent. After starting his own label, Ford then moved into filmmaking.

Ford’s directorial debut 2009’s A Single Man was a predictably fashionable film. But more than just being well styled, his adaptation of the Christopher Isherwood novel was a stunningly tender film that saw lead actor Colin Firth nominated for an Oscar.

DAMIEN MEYER/AFP
Matthew Goode, Tom Ford, Julianne Moore, Colin Firth, Nicholas Hoult and Jon Kortajarena pose outside a screening of 'A Single Man'DAMIEN MEYER/AFP

Ford returned to the screen in 2016 with his second film Nocturnal Animals. Starring Jake Gyllenhaal and Amy Adams, Ford proved himself as a director of immaculate style and emotional depth.

Like Ford, agnès b. also branched out into film after establishing a successful career in fashion. The French designer created the production company O’Salvation with Harmony Korine, producing his 2007 film Mister Lonely.

agnès b. also helped patronage the production of films like Gaspar Noé’s Irréversible and Claire Denis’ Trouble Every Day.

The world of fashion has also proven fertile land for film inspiration, with scandalous incidents like assassination of Maurizio Gucci on the orders of his wife Patrizia Reggiani, dramatised in the 2021 film House of Gucci. Similarly, the second season of American Crime Story focused on the murder of Gianni Versace by Andrew Cunanan.

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