Yves Saint Laurent Dies Aged 71

June 2, 2008 by  
Filed under News

ysl.jpgLegendary fashion designer to the stars Yves Saint Laurent passed away on Sunday.

The news of his death was announced by Pierre Berge, his long time friend as well as at times business partner and lover.

Born in Algiers in 1936, Saint Laurent was discovered at the incredibly young age of 18 after his design for a cocktail dress won a contest by the International Wool Secretariat. This brought him to the attention of fashion icon Christian Dior and he soon began working for the famous fashion house.

When Dior died suddenly of a stroke in 1957 Saint Laurent was named head designer. He guided the fashion house from the brink of financial ruin back to success, however in 1960 he was conscripted into national service. He was given exemption on medical grounds after only a few weeks, but by the time he returned the House Dior had replaced him.

He struck out with Berge and created his own line YSL, where he further established his status as a 20th century design icon.

In 1983 the Metropolitan Museum of Art devoted a show to him, the first time ever this had been done for a living designer.

Despite his fame and talent, Saint Laurent battle with drugs and depression and Berge is quoted as saying that he “was born with a nervous breakdown”.

In a radio interview Berge said that Saint Laurent was a “true creator”.

“Chanel gave women freedom” he said, and Saint Laurent “gave them power”.

No cause of death has been announced as yet but it is known that Saint Laurent had been ill for a long time.

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