The Brand known as YSL is named after Yves Saint Laurent, who was born on August 1, 1936 in Oran, French Algeria and was among one of the world’s top leading fashion designers worldwide. In his early teen years Yves started out designing dresses for his Mother (Lucienne) and his two younger sisters (Michelle and Brigitte). At only 17 years old, Yves’ mother arranged a meeting with the editor of French Vogue, Michael de Brunhoff, and impressed him with Saint Laurent’s drawings. About a year later, Saint Laurent moved to Paris and registered at the Chambre Syndical de la Couture and his drawings gained immediate attention. Michael de Brunhoff introduced Saint Laurent to fashion designer Christian Dior, a huge influence in the world of fashion. Laurent spent years by Dior’s side, where Laurent’s style flourished and continued to grow and gain more notice. Saint Laurent was conscripted to serve in the French army in 1960 during the Algerian War but was able to avoid it due to his health and only spent twenty days in the army. Returning to Paris from the war, Laurent realized he had no job with Dior and went on to successfully sue his past mentor for breach of contract. Laurent opened his own fashion house with Pierre Berge, Laurent’s lover and business partner.  Laurent’s designs were on top when it came to the fashion world, that even actresses and models desired to wear his designs. Some of Laurent’s collections included the trapeze dress created in 1958, the Mondrian Collection (1965), Le Smoking (1966), the most famous tuxedo suit made for women and introduced the peacoat. Laurent became an icon by the 80’s and was the first designer to be honoured by the Metropolitan Museum in New York City. Eventually Laurent and business partner Berge sold the company and made quite a bit of money from doing so. In 2002 Laurent did one final show and then retired in Marrakech, five years later he was selected as Grand Officer of the Legion d’honnerur by French President, Nicolas Sarkozy. Laurent passed away on June 1, 2008 from brain cancer and even though he has passed, even until today, his designs and creations are still influencing other designers that intertwine their ideas with his.

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