Raf Simons Rumored to Replace Stefano Pilati at Yves Saint Laurent - Updated

Raf Simons
Photo: Imaxtree
Raf Simons at the Jil Sander Spring 2012 runway show.

We interrupt your regularly scheduled Dior speculation to bring you news of another potential designer switcheroo.

A column by Suzy Menkes of the International Herald Tribune has had the fashion world in a tizzy with its suggestion that Jil Sander's Raf Simons would replace Stefano Pilati at Yves Saint Laurent.

"If Raf Simons ultimately takes over the helm at Yves Saint Laurent—as those familiar with the situation in Paris suggest—the designer will have found a sweet spot for his meticulous modernism," Menkes wrote from Milan Fashion Week, adding that "he certainly has earned an audition for that position."

Or maybe not. Though Pilati has long been rumored to be on his way out at YSL, a source at the label has dismissed the talk.

"It’s just speculation," the YSL insider tells Elle U.K. "There is no succession plan for Stefano."

Meanwhile, Simons's employer, Jil Sander, tells the magazine that he has just signed on to serve as creative director for four more seasons.

That settles that. But perhaps Menkes meant "ultimately" as in, in five or 10 years? And it's not the first time that speculation about Pilati's future has run rampant, particularly after a since-deleted tweet from Kenzo PR had tongues wagging in February.

“Just heard BIG news about this being a certain designer at an established French house’s last season and being replaced by someone major!” the tweet read. “CEO has just left and now the designer replaced by someone who has moved away from design the last couple of years but stayed in fashion.”

That alone would eliminate the busy Simons, but fret not. We're sure another suspect will surface soon enough.

In related news, see which up-and-coming designer has been recommended for the Dior job.

Update: Yves Saint Laurent has refuted the rumor, offering the following statement, "Yves Saint Laurent disclaims and regards as unfounded the current rumors concerning the creative direction of the house. Stefano Pilati continues to dedicate his talent and energies to Yves Saint Laurent and the coming fashion show."