YVES SAINT LAURENT
Born in Algeria in 1936, Yves Saint Laurent established houses of couture and boutiques in Paris and New York. He was the foremost assistant to Christian Dior and became his successor as head of the House of Dior at the age of 21.
His early collections were noted for their extreme, maverick quality. He opened his own Paris house in 1961, featuring the “chic beatnik” look; knitted turtlenecks; thigh-length boots; and short jackets. He revolutionized the fashion world by creating trousers and broad-shouldered suits that were images of power for women.
His later designs include sophisticated tweed suits, the Mondrian dress, pleated skirts, updated peasant costumes, tuxedos for women, and heavy costume jewelry. He also designed for the Ballets of Roland Petit. By the mid-1970s his design empire included sweaters, neckties, eyeglass cases, linens, children's clothes, and fragrances.
Born: Born Yves Henri Donat Mathieu-Saint Laurent in Oran, Algeria, in 1936.
First break: Hired in 1953 to work alongside Christian Dior on the strength of a recommendation by Michel de Brunhoff, editor of French Vogue
Company founded: 1961
Based in: Paris
Men’s lines: Rive Gauche, YSL Variation
Selected awards: First living designer to be honored by the Metropolitan Museum of Art (1983), Neiman-Marcus Award (1958), Council of Fashion Designers of America (1981)
Signature quote: “Isn’t elegance forgetting what one is wearing?”
Worn by: Tom Cruise, Jude Law, Ashton Kutcher, Brad Pitt, Pierce Brosnan