Yves Saint Laurent Biography
(French Fashion Designer and Founder of His Eponymous Fashion Label)
Birthday: August 1, 1936 (Leo)
Born In: Oran, Algeria
Yves Henri Donat Matthieu Saint Laurent was an Algerian-French fashion designer who is one of the greatest and most celebrated icons of the fashion industry. World renowned since the age of 21 when he shot to fame as the savior of Christian Dior, he is credited with having introduced the tuxedo suit for women and was known for his use of non-European cultural references, and non-white models. Born and raised in colonial Algeria, he was taken in by Dior as an assistant while Yves was studying in Paris as a teenager. Addressed as a hero in France for saving the company after Dior's death, his world collapsed when he was conscripted into the French army and lost his job. At the time, his lover, Pierre Berge, came to his rescue and helped him to set up his own couture house. He opened his own fashion house and quickly emerged as one of the most influential designers in Paris. With an amazing business acumen, his firm dominated fashion throughout the 1960-70s, making him fabulously wealthy. But the pressures of fame and the commercial constraints of fashion took a toll on him. The charismatic young man fell prey to addiction and depression, retreating from the world to live as a recluse. As he withdrew, his financial affairs came under scrutiny, culminating in the sale of his empire to a state-controlled company. He was a renowned designer who changed the way women dress with a series of innovations which are now regarded as classics.