Yves Saint Laurent is taking its conception of “Le Smoking” seriously—and perhaps a tad too literally. When the French fashion house isn’t employing African artisans to cobble purses together from recycled plastic bags and fair-trade cotton, it’s also lending its moniker to a line of cigarettes. So much for social responsibility. Marketed to women in Asia and Russia, the smokes come in minimalist black boxes with gold foil. You don’t have to pony up for prestige pricing, either: Online retailers hawk the cancer sticks, which have been around since 1989, for up to $44 per 200-cigarette pack.

Yves Saint Laurent


We don’t have to tell you about the dangers of tobacco, the gaucheness of nicotine-stained teeth, or the idiocy of self-induced lung cancer and heart disease. You’re far too sophisticated not to know. For the less-informed, however, YSL offers a Faustian deal. Its cigarettes, according to the luxury label, creates a “sense of appeal to female vanity and thereby making the woman who chose to smoke Yves Saint Laurent cigarettes more attractive than one who smokes another brand, or more attractive than a woman who did not smoke at all.”

The woman who smokes YSL cigarettes is more attractive than one who smokes another brand or doesn’t smoke at all, claims the fashion house.

YSL isn’t the only high-end brand to market so-called “fashion cigarettes.” Other companies known to have dabbled in the practice include Givenchy, Versace, Pierre Cardin, Christian Lacroix, and Cartier. Ironically, in a 1968 interview, Saint Laurent himself admitted he didn’t smoke his eponymous cigarettes, claiming not to “like the flavor.”

Smokes, mirrors, and lies? Only in fashion, kids. Only in fashion.

[Via Daily Mail]