When Yves Saint Laurent hired Hedi Slimane as creative director, the brand dropped the "Yves" and revamped its classic ready-to-wear with a more avant-garde, grunge look. Similarly, the house's elegant muses like Natalie Wood, Lee Radziwill, and Catherine Deneuve were replaced by edgier, lesser-known faces.
Now, Saint Laurent's female stars include the likes of 21-year-old singer and model Skye Ferreira, controversial rock-and-roll legend Courtney Love, and 27-year-old musician Liza Thorn. While the ladies may be all over the fashion map with their wild blonde locks, dark eye make-up, and seriously pale skin, for girls and boys alike, it’s clear that one thing resonates amongst all of Hedi’s muses: music.
Meet the latest faces of Saint Laurent menswear: Wyatt and Fletcher Shears. They're a set of androgynous, 19-year-old twins from Southern California. Their rock band, the Garden, is just taking off, partly due to their current role as the brand's Fall/ Winter 2013 campaign faces. Randomly discovered in January while playing a gig in L.A., the boys flew to Paris to meet Slimane -- and the rest is history.
Even though the twins now have two Saint Laurent menswear runways and a major international campaign under their belts, they are really just your average teenage boys: their tone is relaxed, they tend to sleep in, and they really just want to rock.
“I think Hedi likes the rocker thing, and I guess we all play music," says Fletcher of Slimane's other muses. "We also always look like we got punched in the eye.”
Discovered while playing at a show in L.A. by a recruiter—who then passed along their images to Slimane—the boys originally didn’t believe they were actually being tapped to model for the design house. “[The recruiter] found us and basically they sent us an email a couple of weeks after the show, I think. And then, long story short, we thought it was a joke, we didn’t even know what YSL was. Then we ended up having to get the manager of the band X, who is our manager now, to look over the email to see if it was actually real or not. And he was like ‘Uh, you should fucking do it,’ basically, and so we ended up doing it.”
The Shears first popped up at Saint Laurent's Fall 2013 menswear show in January, starting a relationship that would later lead to another runway appearance at last season's Spring 2014 menswear show, as well as fronting the current Fall/Winter 2013 campaign. Reminiscing on their modeling beginnings, Wyatt highlights his favorite piece from the collection: “The really big white coat with the black spots that I wore on the men’s winter fall fashion show. That one’s really cool. I want to get it, but it’s $17,000. Not quite in the budget.” Again, spoken like your average teen.
Despite their popularity—and success—with fashion and modeling, Wyatt and Fletcher are focusing their attention on their musical career first. The twins formed the Garden in 2011 as a "side project" that has now blossomed into a full-fledged career. With their record, Rules, coming out on September 1st and their recent debut LP on Burger Records, the two credit their opportunity with Saint Laurent as a crucial part of their growing musical success.
"The shows that we were playing before we were discovered by YSL—and I’m definitely not saying YSL contributed to all of the popularity that’s forming around the Garden right now—but we were playing shows that no one would come out to see basically," Wyatt described. "When we did the first YSL trip, then we did SXSW, then we did a West Coast tour, then a U.S. tour, and we came back and things were really fucking different. Basically we came back and we were packing out venues and we were headlining over all the bands. And we were like 'OK, this is getting cool and it’s getting weird. And it kind of never stopped from there.'"
Wyatt and Fletcher have joined the ranks of other major musicians-cum-Saint Laurent models—such as Daft Punk and Marilyn Manson—but as budding musicians at the ripe age of 19, the twins see their career as something that's still developing. “I wouldn’t consider myself having a career in music right now, ’cause I’m not living on my own,” Wyatt said. “Until I’m doing that because of music, that’s when I’ll call it a career.”
For the twins, It's all about staying grounded and developing their music—and maybe continuing to star in Saint Laurent campaigns on the side.
“This has been definitely the craziest and strangest year of our life, for sure,” Wyatt said. Fletcher agrees: "Things were pretty damn plain before January."