History of Fashion: Yves Saint Laurent

The French fashion designer, Yves Saint Laurent’s full name was actually Yves Henri Donat Mathieu-Saint-Laurent, best known for his impact on fashion in the 1960s to this very day.

Born in Algeria in 1936, Yves Saint Laurent grew up in a villa by the Mediterranean with his parents and two younger sisters. Having been bullied as a child due to his appearance, he found solace in fashion. By his teens, he was designing dresses for his mother and sisters.

He left for Paris as a teenager to work for designer Christian Dior, where he was recognised for his dress designs.

He eventually launched his own fashion label in 1966 and introduced his adaptations of tuxedos for women. Opening his own fashion house during the rise of pop culture and the yearning of fresh designs led to his incredible success. Yves Saint Laurent dressed models and actresses in his designs. He put women in blazers and smoking jackets and introduced the pea coat to the runway.

By 1980, recognised as being a true fashion icon, his designs were coveted among the elite across the world. He participated in his last fashion show in 2002, after which he retired to Marrakech. Yves Saint Laurent passed away in June, 2008 from brain cancer.


 Yves Saint Laurent