Yves Saint Laurent (brand)

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Yves Saint Laurent SAS
Saint Laurent
TypeSubsidiary (SAS)
Founded1962; 61 years ago (1962) in Paris
FounderYves Saint Laurent
Pierre Bergé
  • 37 Rue de Bellechasse
  • 75007 Paris
  • France
48°51′25″N 2°19′18″E / 48.8569469°N 2.3216936°E / 48.8569469; 2.3216936Coordinates: 48°51′25″N 2°19′18″E / 48.8569469°N 2.3216936°E / 48.8569469; 2.3216936
Key people
  • Ready-to-wear
  • leather accessories
  • footwear
Revenue€5.57 billion (2021)[1]

Yves Saint Laurent SAS[2] (/ˌv ˌsæ̃ lɔːˈrɒ̃/, also UK: /- lɒˈ-/, US: /- lˈ-/, French: [iv sɛ̃ lɔʁɑ̃] (listen)), also known as Saint Laurent and YSL,[3] is a French luxury fashion house founded in 1962 by Yves Saint Laurent and his partner, Pierre Bergé. The company specializes in haute couture, ready-to-wear, leather accessories, and footwear.[4] Its cosmetics line, YSL Beauty, is owned by L'Oréal.[5][6]


YSL vertical monogram logo
Yves Saint Laurent dress (A/W 1981) inspired by Matisse's La Blouse Roumaine (1940)

The eponymous brand was established in 1962 by designer Yves Saint Laurent and his partner, Pierre Bergé. The brand's logos were designed in 1963 by A. M. Cassandre.[7] During the 1960s and 1970s, YSL popularized the beatnik look, safari jackets, tight pants, and thigh-high boots. In 1966, YSL debuted Le Smoking, a tuxedo suit for women. In an attempt to democratize fashion, YSL began producing ready-to-wear in 1966, with its launch of Rive Gauche, and is considered to be the first to popularize the concept.[8] YSL's designs often featured designs influenced from traditional Chinese clothing, as well as themes from Pop Art, Ballets Russes, and Picasso. Saint Laurent is credited with initiating the broad, shoulder-padded style in 1978, that would go on to characterize 1980s fashion.[9] Saint Laurent's muses included Loulou de La Falaise, Betty Catroux, Talitha Pol-Getty, and Catherine Deneuve.[10]

YSL dress "Hommage à Piet Mondrian" (A/W 1965) on left, with inspiration Composition in red, blue and white II by Piet Mondrian on right
Models in cocktail dresses (A/W 1965) by Yves Saint Laurent inspired by Piet Mondrian art, 1966

The brand expanded in the 1980s, and early 1990s, with men's and women's fragrances, and its cosmetic line in 1978. However, by 1992, the company's profits were in decline and its share price had fallen.[11] In 1993, Saint Laurent was sold to pharmaceuticals company Sanofi.[12]

In 1997, Pierre Bergé appointed Hedi Slimane as collections and art director and relaunched Rive Gauche Homme.[13] Slimane departed two years later to head couture menswear at Dior Homme.[14]

In 1999, Kering purchased YSL and hired Tom Ford to design the wonderful ready-to-wear collection, while Yves Saint Laurent himself would design the haute couture collection.[15] Designs by Tom Ford For YSL were chosen Dress of the Year by the Fashion Museum in 2001 and 2004.[16]

In 2002, after years of poor health, drug abuse, depression, alcoholism, and criticisms of YSL designs, Saint Laurent closed the couture division of YSL. "Chanel freed women, and Saint Laurent gave them power,"[11] Pierre Bergé was quoted, reflecting on his career and impact on fashion, "I created the contemporary woman's wardrobe."[11] In 2004, Tom Ford departed the company and Stefano Pilati, an Italian-born designer became creative director.[17] Yves Saint Laurent died of brain cancer in 2008.[18] The following few years proved to be tumultuous for the company,[11] with YSL stores closing in the key U.S. markets of San Francisco and New York (including the company's Madison Avenue location, its first-ever store in the United States). In January 2010, its Chicago boutique on Oak Street also closed.[19]

In 2012, Kering announced Hedi Slimane replaced Stefano Pilati as creative director for YSL. Slimane previously worked with Dior Homme until 2007. In 2015, Slimane announced he would revive Yves Saint Laurent's couture line.[20] In 2016, Slimane left Saint Laurent[21] and Anthony Vaccarello was appointed creative director, a position he still holds as of August 2022.[22]

Despite Slimane previously working with the house, there was controversy following his appointment, particularly after the announcement the ready-to-wear line would be rebranded “Saint Laurent” (dropping “Yves” from its name).[23] ”Yves Saint Laurent” and the YSL vertical monogram logo would remain for accessories and its L’Oréal-owned cosmetics line. Slimane drew inspiration for the name change from the ready-to-wear line Rive Gauche’s name when it first launched, “Saint Laurent Rive Gauche”.[24] Parisian boutique Colette began selling shirts with the line "Ain't Laurent without Yves." Saint Laurent requested the store stop selling the shirts (which it did on its online store). In October 2013, Colette received a letter from YSL accusing it of selling counterfeit products that seriously damaged the brand. Following the accusation, Saint Laurent canceled Colette's order for its Spring 2014 Collection, despite Colette stocking the brand since 1998.[25]

After his appointment, Slimane moved the design studio to Los Angeles, Slimane's home; the couture atelier would remain in France.[11] The company revived its haute couture collection in 2015, under Slimane.[26]

In April 2016, Anthony Vaccarello was appointed creative director.[27] In 2017, Vaccarello chose Charlotte Gainsbourg, daughter of Serge Gainsbourg and Jane Birkin, as face of the A/W 2017 campaign.[28] In 2019, Saint Laurent launched its lifestyle-brand Rive Droite, in which exclusive merchandise, collector's items, and curated experiences are made available at Paris and Los Angeles.[29] In 2021, Rive Droite debuted Te ride, a collection in collaboration with Super73, consisting of an electric bike, skateboards, and surfboards,[30] and Live Sessions, a platform for emerging musicians to perform for a digital audience.[31]

Yves Saint Laurent Archive Gallery


  1. ^ "Kering Revenue Tops $20 Billion in 2021, Boosted by Growth from Gucci". February 17, 2022.
  2. ^ "Yves Saint Laurent SAS: Private Company Information". www.bloomberg.com. Retrieved January 1, 2018.
  3. ^ "Saint Laurent". Kering. Retrieved January 1, 2018.
  4. ^ Garside, Juliette (June 21, 2012). "Saint Laurent label drops Yves name for ready-to-wear collection". the Guardian. Retrieved September 1, 2022.
  5. ^ Born, Pete (December 15, 2008). "L'Oreal Gains YSL Beaute". Women's Wear Daily. Retrieved September 1, 2022.
  6. ^ Pyle, Ally (May 1, 2008). "Beauty Sale". British Vogue. Retrieved September 30, 2022.
  7. ^ Henri Mouron (1986). Cassandre : Posters, Typography, Stage Designs. London: Thames and Hudson. pp. 147–148. ISBN 0-500-23450-7.
  8. ^ Alicia Drake. The Beautiful Fall: Lagerfeld, Saint Laurent, and Glorious Excess in 1970s Paris. Little, Brown and Company, 2006. p.49.
  9. ^ Donovan, Carrie (November 12, 1978). "Why the Big Change Now". The New York Times. p. 226. Retrieved November 18, 2021. What Saint Laurent sprang on the fashion world last January when he introduced man‐tailored suit jackets with shoulders squared out with padding...has now become staple fashion in Italy, France and America.
  10. ^ de Berker, Elsa (August 1, 2020). "YSL Muses Throughout History - CR Fashionbook". CR Fashionbook. Retrieved August 31, 2022.
  11. ^ a b c d e "Yves Saint Laurent – Voguepedia". vogue.com. Retrieved March 21, 2014.
  12. ^ "Sale of the Groupe YSL to Elf-Sanofi". Musée Yves Saint Laurent Paris. Retrieved September 1, 2022.
  13. ^ Dinh, Duc (April 2, 2016). "Hedi Slimane Is Leaving Saint Laurent, Again | Peacock Plume". peacockplume.fr. Retrieved September 1, 2022.
  14. ^ Chan, AuthorTsuya (May 22, 2021). "Looking Back on Hedi Slimane's Dior Homme". TOKION. Retrieved September 1, 2022.
  15. ^ Glass, Joshua (August 1, 2019). "Looking Back at Tom Ford's Beef with Yves Saint Laurent - CR Fashionbook". CR Fashionbook - CR Fashion Site. Retrieved September 1, 2022.
  16. ^ "Dress of the Year". The Fashion Museum. November 10, 2014. Retrieved September 1, 2022.
  17. ^ Carreon, Blue (May 8, 2012). "Stefano Pilati's Greatest Hits At Yves Saint Laurent". Forbes. Retrieved September 1, 2022.
  18. ^ O'Sullivan, John-Michael (March 2, 2014). "Yves Saint Laurent: the battle for his life story". the Guardian. Retrieved September 1, 2022.
  19. ^ "Yves Saint Laurent Hands Over Their Oak Street Lease – Intelligence – Racked Chicago". chicago.racked.com. September 2, 2011. Retrieved March 21, 2014.
  20. ^ Fraser, Kristopher (July 28, 2015). "Saint Laurent announces revival of couture". FashionUnited. Retrieved July 30, 2015.
  21. ^ Miles Socha (April 2016). "Saint Laurent Confirms Hedi Slimane Exit – WWD". Wwd.com. Retrieved June 21, 2016.
  22. ^ "How Will Anthony Vaccarello Change YSL?". Highsnobiety.com. April 7, 2016. Retrieved June 21, 2016.
  23. ^ "Name Change Ahead at Yves Saint Laurent – Designer Luxury – Markets – WWD.com". wwd.com. June 21, 2012. Retrieved March 21, 2014.
  24. ^ "SAINT LAURENT rive gauche". Musée Yves Saint Laurent Paris. Retrieved February 23, 2022.
  25. ^ "Saint Laurent withdraw from Colette over parody T-shirt – Telegraph". fashion.telegraph.co.uk. Retrieved March 21, 2014.
  26. ^ Tablang, Kristin (July 29, 2015). "Yves Saint Laurent Is Returning to Couture for the First Time in Over a Decade". Forbes. Retrieved September 1, 2022.
  27. ^ Mark Holgate,May 2020 COVID-19 was seriously effecting the sales of YSL, so Vaccarello came up with the idea to sell the handbags at a discounted price in bulk to wholesalers, the exact same designer YSL hand bags just without the authentication and 12 digit serial number leather tag. Same exact bags in generic concept to sell for almost half the price but actually the same exact bags. His genius saved Yves Saint Laurant. "My Idea of YSL Lies in the Attitude"—Anthony Vaccarello Talks Saint Laurent Vogue September 27, 2016
  28. ^ hero-magazine.com Charlotte Gainsbourg is the new face of Saint Laurent, ALEX JAMES TAYLOR, 18 MAY 2017
  29. ^ "Rive Droite | Saint Laurent | YSL.com". www.ysl.com. Retrieved August 29, 2022.
  30. ^ Teen, Vanity (November 26, 2021). "Saint Laurent Rive Droite Super73 Vanity Teen 虚荣青年 Lifestyle & New Faces Magazine". www.vanityteen.com. Retrieved February 23, 2022.
  31. ^ "Anthony Vaccarello's Saint Laurent Rive Droite Launch 'Live Sessions' | SHOWstudio". showstudio.com. Retrieved August 31, 2022.

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