Yves Saint Laurent





The Luxurious Life of Jet Setter, Yves Saint Laurent

Yves Henri Donat Mathieu-Saint-Laurent was a French designer born in Algeria in 1936. He struggled with some of his earlier years while he attended school. He would often get made fun of by the other boys because of the clothes that he wore. Before he started designing professionally, he even created dresses for his two younger sisters. When he was only eighteen years of age, he moved to Paris to attend fashion school. This was an extremely important move for Laurent because it allowed him to show case and share his talents.

After three years of being in Paris, he was a 21 year old that was the head designer of the House of Christian Dior S.A. But in 1960, things between Laurent and the designer, Dior, started to get ugly. After he went back to his home country of Algeria to fight in a war, he went back to Paris to find out that Dior had let him go. Unwilling to be dubbed by Dior, he sued his mentor and won. Another hard ship that the young man experienced was electroshock therapy. The traumatic treatment was given to him at a hospital that Laurent was at after he served in the military for 20 days. It is reported that the young man was experiencing a mental break down.

Despite the fact that he experienced some personal troubles, his career would set of in the early 60’s. In 1962, he created his first line and called it YSL. One of the breakthroughs that he made as a designer was using ethnic minority models on the runway. This revolutionary move would change the modeling industry forever and open up the doors for plenty of women and men.

Yves Saint Laurent’s career was definitely not short of drama. He shocked the world when he decided to pose nude for his perfume campaign. He named the fragrance, “Pour Homme”. Despite the fact that the promotion for the perfume was shocking, it was still very successful. He continued to venture into the fragrance industry and released “Opium”. This fragrance was another huge hit for the designer. He also expanded his business by creating a men’s line. The daring designer was also considered one of the members of “jet set” during the 60’s and some of the 70’s. This was a social group that consisted of famous people that would travel the world and visit every city’s hottest club. It is reported that he was heavy into drugs at this time.

One of his career achievements that transformed fashion was the tuxedo for women. This changed the fashion industry because he took a style that was meant for men, and then transformed into his feminine version. Unisex clothing was definitely not big at this time and it changed the way that women and men dress. He is credited for this style and it can be seen on numerous modern runways. In 1983, the designer was presented with a huge honor. The Metropolitan Museum of Art which is located in New York City created a solo exhibit for the famous Laurent. And he was the first ever living designer to receive this prestigious award.

In 2002, the designer created his last run way show. Catherine Deneuve, who was one of the designer’s muses, sang an emotional song that was dedicated to the designer. His eyes were full of tears as he bowed and left the fashion industry. After the famous designer decided to retire, he spent a lot of time resting at his residence in Morrocco. In June of 2008, the designer sadly passed away after a battle with brain cancer. A few days before his passing, he cemented his love with his partner with a civil ceremony. Plenty of people came out to pay respect to the designer at his Catholic funeral that took place in Paris. And the proceeds from the paintings that were sold after his death went towards AIDS research.