Yves Saint Laurent (brand)

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Yves Saint Laurent SAS
Saint Laurent
Industry Fashion
Founded1961;59 years ago (1961)
Founder Yves Saint Laurent
Pierre Bergé
Key people
Francesca Bellettini (CEO), Anthony Vaccarello (Creative Director)
Revenue $1.21 billion [1]
Owner Kering
Website www.ysl.com

Yves Saint Laurent SAS [2] ( /ˌvˌsæ̃lɔːˈrɒ̃/ , also UK: /-lɒˈ-/ , US: /-lˈ-/ , French:  [iv sɛ̃ lɔʁɑ̃] ; YSL), also known as Saint Laurent, [3] is a French luxury fashion house founded 1961 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 the Creative Director. [4] [5] [6]


Founded in 1961, it has been considered one of the world's most prominent fashion houses and is known for its modern and iconic[ clarification needed ] pieces, such as its tuxedo jackets for women. Today, Saint Laurent markets a broad range of women's and men's ready-to-wear products, leather goods, shoes, and jewellery. Yves Saint Laurent Beauté also has a notable presence in the luxury beauty and fragrance market, [7] although this is owned by L'Oréal who hold 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, and 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 the creation of arguably the most famous classic tuxedo suit for women in 1966, Le Smoking suit. Some of his most memorable collections include the Pop Art, Ballet Russes, Picasso, and Chinese ones. He 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 continued to expand 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 decided to leave the house two years later, and he became 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 heavily quoted around the world for stating, "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. [17] [ deprecated source ] However, the decision made headlines around the world. It became more controversial after it was reported that famed Parisian boutique Colette was selling shirts with the line "Ain't Laurent without Yves." Saint Laurent requested the store to 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. [18]

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. [19]

In 2019, Keanu Reeves chosen as global ambassador and serve as the new face of their fall-winter 2019 menswear collection. [20]

In 2020, Rosé from BLACKPINK is chosen as the global ambassador for Saint Laurent, being their first global ambassador in 59 years. [21]


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. [22] 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, 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 Henri Donat Mathieu-Saint-Laurent, professionally known 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 in the twentieth century. In 1985, Caroline Rennolds 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 was able to adapt his style to accommodate the changes in fashion during that period. He approached fashion in a different perspective by wanting women to look comfortable yet elegant at the same time. He is also credited with having introduced the tuxedo suit for women and was known for his use of non-European cultural references, and non-white models.

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

Ready-to-wear or prêt-à-porter is the term for factory-made clothing, sold in finished condition in standardized sizes, as distinct from made-to-measure or bespoke clothing tailored to a particular person's frame. Off-the-peg is sometimes used for items other than clothing such as handbags.

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Pierre Bergé French businessman

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

Nino Cerruti is an Italian businessman and stylist. He founded his own haute couture house, Cerruti, in 1967 in Paris. Today, he manages the Italian family business Lanificio Fratelli Cerruti, which was founded in 1881 by his grandfather.

Hedi Slimane French 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.

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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 Anthony Vaccarello as Creative Director. With a thorough understanding of the brand’s spirit, he has since his arrival, strongly empowered a highly desirable vision.

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


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