Yves Saint Laurent was born in 1936 in Algeria and died in June 2008.
Having won the first prize in the International Wool Secretariat contest in 1954, he went to work for Christian Dior as a young designer.
After Diors death in 1957, Saint Laurent became Haute Couture designer. The following year saw him win the Neiman-Marcus Award.
His creations have often caused a scandal, from the first see-through blouses (1968) to his perfume, Opium.
After fulfilling his military obligations he opened his own Haute Couture house in 1962 financed by Pierre Berge. He opened his Rive Gauche boutiques for women were in 1966 and a men’s wear line was added in 1974. In 1981 he was became a member of the Council of Fashion Designers of America. The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York made him the first living designer to be so honoured.
Renowned for ethnic themes and bright colors Saint Laurent believes he is the last true couturier and maintains the highest standards of classic cut and Tailoring. He was presented with a Victoria and Albert award in 1995. In 1996 the year Saint Laurent became the first courturier to show his Haute Couture show live on the Internet he decided to stop making big fashion shows for his Pret-a-Porter collection after 30 years of doing so.
The company has had its troubles in 1996 Pierre Berge was fined for insider trading after selling his shares in the company before the release of poor trading figures.
Yves Saint Laurent is also the subject of a number of retrospective exhibitions including the Hermitage, St. Petersburg , Russia and Musee des Arts de la Mode, Louvre, Paris.
In January 2000, following the acquisition of Yves Saint Laurent and YSL Beauté by the Gucci Group, Designer Tom Ford assumed the position of Creative Director of Yves Saint Laurent Rive Gauche and YSL Beauté. Ford works with all creative teams at YSL to define the overall image and positioning of the YSL brand including all product categories and communication activities. He refocused the brand with great success.