Yves Saint Laurent (brand)

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Yves Saint Laurent SAS
Saint Laurent
Type Subsidiary (SAS)
Industry Fashion
Founded1961;60 years ago (1961)
Founder Yves Saint Laurent
Pierre Bergé
Key people
Francesca Bellettini (CEO)
Anthony Vaccarello (Creative Director)
Products ready-to-wear products, leather goods, shoes and jewellery
Revenue $1.21 billion (1996) [1]
Parent Kering
Website www.ysl.com

Yves Saint Laurent SAS [2] ( /ˌvˌsæ̃lɔːˈrɒ̃/ , also UK: /-lɒˈ-/ , US: /-lˈ-/ ; French:  [iv sɛ̃ lɔʁɑ̃] ( Loudspeaker.svg listen ); YSL), also known as Saint Laurent, [3] is a French luxury fashion house founded by Yves Saint Laurent and his partner, Pierre Bergé. The company revived its haute couture collection in 2015 under former Creative Director Hedi Slimane. In April 2016, Anthony Vaccarello was appointed as Creative Director. [4] [5] [6]


Founded in 1961, today Saint Laurent markets a range of women's and men's ready-to-wear products, leather goods, shoes and jewellery. Yves Saint Laurent Beauté also has a presence in the beauty and fragrance market, [7] although this is owned by L'Oréal, which holds exclusive licenses for the name.


Evening dress by Tom Ford for YSL Rive Gauche, 2004 Evening dress in Chinese dragon print satin by Tom Ford for Yves Saint Laurent Rive Gauche. Dress of the Year, 2004.jpg
Evening dress by Tom Ford for YSL Rive Gauche, 2004

The eponymous brand was founded in 1961 by designer Yves Saint Laurent and his partner, Pierre Bergé. The current logos were designed in 1963 by A. M. Cassandre. [8]

During the 1960s and 1970s, the firm popularized fashion trends such as the beatnik look, safari jackets for men and women, tight pants and tall, thigh-high boots, including a tuxedo suit for women in 1966, Le Smoking suit. Some of its collections include the Pop Art, Ballet Russes, Picasso, and Chinese. Saint Laurent also started mainstreaming the idea of wearing silhouettes from the 1920s, 1930s and 1940s. He was the first, in 1966, to popularize ready-to-wear in an attempt to democratize fashion, with Rive Gauche and a boutique of the same name. [9] Among Saint Laurent's muses were Loulou de La Falaise, the daughter of a French marquis and an Anglo-Irish fashion model; Betty Catroux, the half-Brazilian daughter of an American diplomat and wife of a French decorator; Talitha Pol-Getty, a model and actress whose husband was a Getty heir; and Catherine Deneuve, the French actress.

The brand expanded in the 1980s and early 1990s with fragrances for both men and women, having launched its cosmetic line in 1978. However, by 1992, the company's profits were declining and the company's share price had fallen. [10]

In 1993, the Saint Laurent fashion house was sold to the pharmaceuticals company Sanofi. In the 1998–1999 seasons, Alber Elbaz, formerly of Lanvin, designed three ready-to-wear collections.

Pierre Bergé appointed Hedi Slimane as collections and art director in 1997, and they relaunched YSL Rive Gauche Homme. Slimane left the house two years later, to become head of couture menswear at Dior Homme.

In 1999, Gucci (owned by PPR) bought the YSL brand and asked Tom Ford to design the ready-to-wear collection, while Saint Laurent would design the haute couture collection.

In 2002, dogged by years of poor health, drug abuse, depression, alcoholism, and criticisms of YSL designs, Saint Laurent closed the couture house of YSL. Reflecting on his career and impact on the fashion industry, Saint Laurent was quoted as saying, "Chanel freed women, and I empowered them." [10] Saint Laurent also stated, "I created the contemporary woman's wardrobe." [10]

YSL boutique, Beverly Hills, California, 2006 Yves Saint Laurent Beverly Hills.jpg
YSL boutique, Beverly Hills, California, 2006

The prêt-à-porter line was produced under the direction of Stefano Pilati, after Tom Ford left in 2004. His style was decidedly more French than the overtly sexy image that Tom Ford propagated. [11]

In 2009, following the death of Yves Saint Laurent in 2008 and a tumultuous first few years for Stefano Pilati, [10] a few YSL stores closed in key U.S. markets of San Francisco and New York City. The New York location, on Madison Avenue, had been the brand's first in the United States, having opened in 1969. In January 2010, the Chicago boutique on Oak Street closed as well. [12]

In 2012, Kering (previously known as PPR) announced that Hedi Slimane replaced Stefano Pilati as the creative director. Slimane had previously worked with Dior Homme until 2007. In 2015, Slimane announced that he would be reviving Yves Saint Laurent's couture line. [13] In 2016, Slimane left Saint Laurent. [14] His replacement is Anthony Vaccarello. [15]

Despite the fact that Slimane had previously worked with the house, there was much controversy following his appointment, particularly after it was announced that the ready-to-wear line would be rebranded as Saint Laurent. [16] However, the Yves Saint Laurent name and YSL logo have been retained for accessories such as handbags and shoes, and cosmetics (which are licensed to L'Oréal). It was also announced that the design studio would move to Los Angeles, California, Slimane's adopted home, while the couture atelier would remain in France. [10]

Slimane stated that he drew inspiration from when the ready-to-wear line was first launched as Saint Laurent Rive Gauche.[ citation needed ] However, the decision made headlines. It became more controversial after it was reported that the Parisian boutique Colette was selling shirts with the line "Ain't Laurent without Yves." Saint Laurent requested the store stop selling the shirts, which it did in its online store. In October 2013, it was reported that Colette received a letter accusing it of selling counterfeit products that seriously damaged the brand. Following the accusation, it was announced that Saint Laurent had canceled Colette's order for its Spring 2014 Collection, despite the fact that the boutique had been stocking the brand since 1998. [17]

Charlotte Gainsbourg appeared in the brand's FW17 ad campaign Charlotte Gainsbourg Cannes 2017.jpg
Charlotte Gainsbourg appeared in the brand's FW17 ad campaign

In 2017, creative director Anthony Vaccarello chose Charlotte Gainsbourg, the daughter of Serge Gainsbourg and Jane Birkin, as the face of the FW17 campaign. [18]


Yves Saint Laurent men's wear in Florence, Italy, 2011 YSL Menswear shop in Florence.jpg
Yves Saint Laurent men's wear in Florence, Italy, 2011

Designed by Slimane, the Paris flagship boutique opened in May 2013. The previous deep red and gold color scheme was replaced by a monochrome interior, with varying materials, including marble and nickel-plated bars. [19] This concept was used in the renovated Beverly Hills boutique, and its new London boutique on Sloane Street, as well as new stores in the United States.

In 2013, a men's store—a first for the brand—opened in San Francisco, a full-line store opened in New York City, in its SoHo neighborhood, and a full-line store opened in Chicago at the Waldorf Astoria on Rush Street, where private showings had been given since the Chicago store closed in 2010.

Under Slimane Saint Laurent plans to continue to expand its presence in the United States, opening new stores in the resort locations of Bal Harbour, Florida and Las Vegas, Nevada, as well as a planned store for Washington, D.C.

International locations includes a strong presence in Europe, with boutiques ranging in location from Barcelona, Munich, Berlin, Prague, Warsaw, and Kiev, to Bologna, Rome, Moscow, Monte Carlo and Cannes. Locations in the Middle East and Africa include Beirut, Casablanca, Abu Dhabi, Dubai, Doha, Kuwait City, and Jeddah. In Asia Saint Laurent boutiques can be found in Jakarta, Bangkok, Manila, Seoul, Singapore, Macau, Taiwan, and Hong Kong. The brand has a heavy presence in Japan with boutiques in Kyoto, Tokyo, and Osaka as well as outlet locations across the country. In China standalone boutiques are located in Wuhan, Shanghai, Beijing and Chongqing.

Related Research Articles

Yves Saint Laurent (designer) French fashion designer

Yves Henri Donat Mathieu-Saint-Laurent, often referred to as Yves Saint-Laurent, was a French fashion designer who, in 1961, founded his eponymous fashion label. He is regarded as being among the foremost fashion designers of the twentieth century. In 1985, Caroline Milbank wrote, "The most consistently celebrated and influential designer of the past twenty-five years, Yves Saint Laurent can be credited with both spurring the couture's rise from its 1960s ashes and with finally rendering ready-to-wear reputable." He developed his style to accommodate the changes in fashion during that period. He approached his aesthetic from a different perspective by helping women find confidence by looking both comfortable and elegant at the same time. He is also credited with having introduced the "Le Smoking" tuxedo suit for women and was known for his use of non-European cultural references, and diverse models.

Ready-to-wear Mass-produced clothing in standard sizes

Ready-to-wear or prêt-à-porter is often abbreviated RTW; "off-the-rack" or "off-the-peg" in casual use) is the term for ready-made garments, sold in finished condition in standardized sizes, as distinct from made-to-measure or bespoke clothing tailored to a particular person's frame. The term off-the-peg is sometimes used for items other than clothing, such as handbags.

Dior European fashion company

Christian Dior SE, commonly known as Dior, is a French luxury fashion house controlled and chaired by French businessman Bernard Arnault, who also heads LVMH, the world's largest luxury group. Dior itself holds 42.36% shares of and 59.01% voting rights within LVMH.

Pierre Bergé French businessman

Pierre Vital Georges Bergé was a French industrialist and patron. He co-founded the fashion label Yves Saint Laurent, and was a longtime business partner of its namesake designer.

Hedi Slimane French photographer and fashion designer

Hedi Slimane is a French photographer and fashion designer. From 2000 to 2007, he held the position of creative director for Dior Homme. From 2012 to 2016, he was the creative director for Yves Saint Laurent. Since February 1, 2018, Slimane has been the creative, artistic and image director of Celine.

Anja Rubik Polish model and businesswoman (born 1983)

Anja Rubik is a Polish model and businesswoman. She lives and works in New York.

Stefano Pilati is an Italian fashion designer. In 2017 he founded Random Identities, a ready-to-wear brand.

Lanvin (company) French luxury fashion house

Lanvin is a French multinational high fashion house, which was founded by Jeanne Lanvin in 1889. It is the third oldest French fashion house still in operation. In 1990, the house was taken over by the Orcofi Group, then sold to l’Oréal in 1996. In 2001, Shaw-Lan Wang, a Taiwanese media magnate, took Lanvin private again. On 14 March 2016, Bouchra Jarrar was appointed as Creative Director for Women’s Collection, replacing Alber Elbaz, who had transformed the company over the previous fourteen years. Bouchra's departure was announced on 6 July 2017. She was succeeded as artistic director by Olivier Lapidus, who left the company without a named successor on 22 March 2018. Men’s Collections have been headed by Lucas Ossendrijver since 2005. Bruno Sialelli has been the head designer for both the men's and the women's collections since 2019.

Celine (brand) French fashion brand

CELINE is a French ready-to-wear and leather luxury goods brand that has been owned by LVMH group since 1996. It was founded in 1945 by Céline Vipiana. Since November 2015, the headquarters are located at 16 rue Vivienne in the 2nd arrondissement of Paris at the Hôtel Colbert de Torcy, which has French Historic Monument classification. Séverine Merle is the Chief Executive Officer since April 2017.

Versus (Versace) was a diffusion line of Italian luxury fashion house Versace. It began in 1989 as the first diffusion line by the house, a gift by the founder Gianni Versace to his sister, Donatella Versace. After closing in 2005, Donatella resurrected it in 2009 with a capsule collection of accessories designed by emerging British designer Christopher Kane. In 2018, Versace integrated Versus with another diffusion line of the brand - Versace Jeans, forming Versace Jeans Couture, which currently operates as the company's only diffusion line.

Kris Van Assche Belgian fashion designer (born 1976)

Kris Van Assche is a Belgian fashion designer. He was the creative director of Berluti ( 2018-2021), a luxury leather brand of LVMH. And was artistic director for Dior Homme (2007-2018).

Paul Deneve is a businessperson working in fashion and technology. In September 2013, he became a vice president at Apple. Before joining Apple, he was CEO of the fashion house Yves Saint Laurent (YSL), now a subsidiary of PPR. Between 1997 and 2013, he managed a number of companies in the luxury sector, such as Courreges, Nina Ricci, Lanvin and YSL.

Rive Gauche is a women's perfume launched by Yves Saint Laurent in 1971.

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The Webster

The Webster is a luxury multi-brand fashion house operating seven physical boutiques in the U.S. and an online store. The multi-brand boutique sells designer brands and many others. The Webster has collaborated with worldwide major retailers such as Le Bon Marche, Target, Ritz Paris, and most recently, Lane Crawford.

The Mondrian collection of Yves Saint Laurent

The Mondrian Collection was designed by French fashion designer Yves Saint Laurent (1936–2008) in 1965. This collection was a homage to the work of several modernistic artists. Part of this collection were six cocktail dresses that were inspired by the paintings of Piet Mondrian (1872–1944). Because these six dresses played a major role in this collection the collection is called the Mondrian Collection. In academic literature it has been questioned whether this name fully covers the aim of the collection, since there are other artists who inspired Saint Laurent such as Poliakoff and Malevich. However, Mondrian seemed to play a leading role in this collection.

Anthony Vaccarello Belgian fashion designer (born 1982)

Anthony Vaccarello is a Belgian fashion designer and currently creative director at Saint Laurent. Prior to this he held the position of creative director at Versus Versace, as well as designing his own eponymous line. In April 2016, Saint Laurent announced the appointment of Vaccarello as creative director.

Valérie Hermann is a French businesswoman. She is the managing director of the fashion and luxury division of EPI, a private investment fund based in Paris.

Grace Hartzel

Grace Kathleen Hartzel is an American fashion model from Zionsville, Indiana. She was discovered at the age of 15 while dining at a St. Louis Cheesecake Factory with her family. She has walked in nearly every major show during the fall/winter 2015 and spring/summer 2016 shows after being noted as a muse of then-YSL fashion designer Hedi Slimane in the fall/winter 2014 show. Slimane's spring 2014 show was entirely made in Hartzel's image, when she was an unknown.

Nastassia Sahara Elizabeth Lindes is an English-American fashion model and musician. She is the face of YSL Beauty.


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