Home The Blog Blog The ups and downs life of legendary designer Yves Saint Laurent that you haven't known yet!

The ups and downs life of legendary designer Yves Saint Laurent that you haven’t known yet!

YSL young life

The life of Yves Saint Laurent – one of the most famous fashion designers in the world, is full of ups and downs, as the peak of artistic sublimation, but also a series of days “flooded” in the darkness with the types of stimulants and depression.

And his life could not have only been a small article to cover. But in this article, we will try to give you as much information about the world fashion legend as possible.

Yves Saint Laurent’s Young Life

Yves Saint Laurent (full name Yves Henri Donat Mathieu Saint Laurent) was born in 1936 in Oran – Algerie, the son of the director of an insurance company, in a French aristocratic family. As a child, Yves Saint Laurent was gifted with painting but was not encouraged by her family to pursue design.

YSL young life
YSL young life

It was not until the age of 17 that he participated in a design contest during his maternal family visit. The jury of the competition consisted of the big names of the garment industry at that time: Balmain, Givenchy and Balenciaga. And Yves won first prize. His father recognized his son’s design talent and agreed to let him enroll in the design school of the garment industry on the condition that Yves had to pass a baccalaureate degree.

After graduating from school, Yves Saint Laurent came to Paris to start his career with “capital” as the first prize in the International Wool Secretariat competition with the design of a cocktail dress in 1954. The design talent of Yves Saint Laurent caught the eye of Michel de Brunhoff, former director of Vogue, the top famous fashion magazine at that time. He introduced this new talent to his friend Christian Dior, renowned worldwide for his collection of New Look fashion.

The turning point in life with Dior

In 1955, Dior invited Yves Saint Laurent to intern and two years later appointed him as an assistant. Yves Saint Laurent got off to a spectacular start as an art director. The first collection of haute couture (high fashion) for the Dior family has confirmed his natural talent in delicate designs to every detail.

In 1957, Christian Dior died unexpectedly after a heart attack. At the age of 21, Yves inherits a huge legacy but at the same time a huge burden. He buried his head in his work, locked himself in a room, drawing 800 different sketches for a collection. In three consecutive years, he is the only one to make 6 fashion collections for Dior, 3 sets spring and summer, 3 sets fall-winter. Peaking in just one night’s sleep, Saint Laurent sketched 1,000 models, and then picked the spotlight for the launch of the first Dior collection in January 1958.

Yves Saint Laurent works with a model at his Paris fashion house in 1965. A new film follows the designer's rise in the fashion world.
Yves Saint Laurent works with a model at his Paris fashion house in 1965. A new film follows the designer’s rise in the fashion world.

In 1960, Yves Saint Laurent was called to the army according to French regulations. However, his military service was very short, only 20 days, due to depression requiring treatment in a psychiatric hospital.

Bored of despair, Yves Saint Laurent no longer wants to work in the fashion industry. But Pierre Bergé, the talented designer and gay lover of Yves, convinced him the opposite: this is a chance for Yves Saint Laurent to escape the influence of his seniors, no longer have to hide underneath. The shadow of the big tree. Pierre Bergé convinced American billionaire J. Marck Robinson to sponsor the first haute couture fashion collection branded YSL, short for Yves Saint Laurent. With the support of the billionaire, just ten years after launching, the brand has caught up with Dior in both terms: revenue and reputation.

After recovery and financial and spiritual support, the YSL Rive Gauche women’s boutiques were established in 1966. This was followed by men’s boutiques in the 1970s opens in the most luxurious locations in Paris.

The sublimation career of Yves Saint Laurent

In addition to reviving haute couture, which is facing a recession, he also brings complete ready-to-wear collections which are featured in the “Riant Monde” collection in 1966. with striking black lines and colored squares inspired by abstract paintings by painter Piet Mondrian. He also affirmed his name through a series of clothes transforming women’s dress styles such as transparent skirts (1966), jackets (1962), jumpsuits (1968) …

Each breakthrough stage in YSL’s career is often associated with “muse” who are models with outstanding style, bringing beauty to be appreciated each time. It was the early Victoire Doutreleau “muse” with a small stature, an angular face, or the most long-standing rebellious girl with YSL, Loulou de la Falaise.

YSL & Loulou de la Falaise
YSL & Loulou de la Falaise

From 1962 on, Yves Saint Laurent was a huge success for four decades. Since 1966, Harper Bazaar magazine has awarded Yves Saint Laurent the title of the best fashion designer in the international fashion village. In 1982, the Council of American Fashion Designers awarded him the first prize, on the 20th birthday of the Yves Saint Laurent brand name. A year later in 1983, Yves Saint Laurent was the first designer to have work on display in a museum while he was still alive. After the Metropolitan Museum in New York, this exhibition, in turn, was held in Sydney, Beijing, Moscow, Tokyo and then ended in Paris in 1986.

Yves Saint Laurent died in 2008 of brain cancer, aged 71 years old. His departure closed a great page of ups and downs, leaving behind the mediocre indulgence of a turbulent life. But the highest values of art, of spirit, passion, and desire to create are forever.

Yves Saint Laurent became one of the two most important fashion designers of the 20th century, changing the lives of women around the world as well as reviving the Haute Couture couture line.


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