saint laurent

Yves Saint Laurent is a designer who made ready-to-wear clothes reputable. Here is the journey of his brand Saint Laurent.


Founder of the brand 

Yves Henri Donat Mathieu-Saint-Laurent, commonly known as Yves Saint Laurent, was born on August 01st, 1936 in Oran - Colonial Algeria. He was a French designer and founded the famous fashion house YSL, in 1961, with his partner Pierre Bergé.

Two years after, the graphic designer AM. Cassandre created YSL logo and it remained the same, ever since. Yves Saint Laurent became an influential personality during the XXe century and forged a solid reputation as a couturier within the fashion industry.

He quickly began to compete with other leading brands. Besides, he opened the first boutique in Rive Gauche - Paris, and then started to expand over Europe, Asia and America.

Saint Laurent Style

Yves had a particular style that he altered in fashion trends. Actually, he created garments for women to make them feel comfortable inside and classy on the outside.

St Laurent is famous for introducing the formal suit for women, which have been exclusive for the male gender for a long time. He made non common decisions ; he even hired models of color which was so controversial at that time.


YSL Products

YSL brand specialized in women’s and menswear, leather goods, Saint Laurent shoes, bags, handbags and accessories… among others.


Key pieces of Saint Laurent 

Although the tuxedo suit was by far the most prominent key piece of YSL, the brand  enjoyed a lot of success following the fashion trends promoted by Yves’ company during the late 60’s, namely: the safari jackets, tight pants, thigh-high boots… and many other creations.


Yves Saint Laurent muses

YSL freed fashion by being the first designer who launched a line of ready-to-wear garments. He was inspired by influential women of that time, like Betty Catroux, an Anglo-Irish model and by Catherine Deneuve, the classy French movie star.


Who owns Saint Laurent 

In 1993, Sanofi, a pharmaceutical company, bought YSL fashion house where the designer Alber Elbaz presented three lines of ready to wear during the 1998/1999 seasons.

Hedi Slimane was appointed as a creative director in 1997 and relaunched YSL Rive Gauche for men. Few years later, Slimane Hedi left the brand company.


In 1999, Gucci purchased YSL and Tom Ford was tasked to design ready to wear lines, whilst Yves was devoted to the haute couture collection.

However, in 2008, Yves Saint Laurent succumbed to a brain cancer. Although Bergé remained at the head of the brand company, a few years later, many YSL stores started to close, mainly in the United States of America, under the creative direction of Stefano Pilati. Hedi Slimane later replaced Pilati.


In 2016, the designer Anthony Vaccarello replaced Hedi Slimane and positioned the YSL brand among the most renowned brands.

As the face of the 2017 fashion week campaign, Vaccarello chose Serge Gainsbourg’s daughter, Charlotte Gainsbourg, and the British singer Jane Birkin.


The reason why Saint Laurent is so successful

In the 60’s, YSL had 02 boutiques whereas now, the brand counts hundreds of YSL outlets around the world. Thanks to the talented and devoted successors of the late Yves Saint Laurent who worked as creatives and designed fabulous products, which maintained Saint Laurent at the top, all over the years.

Yves built a solid empire, which is, until today, preciously preserved by Anthony Vaccarello, the creative director of the company since 2016 and Francesca Bellettini, womenswear stylist. Thus, YSL brand evolved over the years and enhanced its position in the market even in the 21st century.

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