Yves St. Laurent was born in Algeria in 1936. When he was just 17, he moved to Paris to study at the prestigious fashion school, Chambre Syndicale de la Haute Couture. After graduation, he began working for the fashion house of Dior. He quickly rose to prominence within the fashion world, and in 1957, he became the head designer at Dior when the founder, Christian Dior, died suddenly.
At Dior, St. Laurent created some of the most iconic looks of the 1950s and 1960s. He is credited with popularizing the “beatnik look” and the “baby doll dress”. He also introduced the concept of “ready-to-wear” clothing with his “Rive Gauche” line. In 1966, he left Dior to start his own fashion house.
The Yves St. Laurent label was an instant success. His designs were worn by some of the most famous women in the world, including Jackie Kennedy and Catherine Deneuve. He was also one of the first designers to embrace ethnic diversity, using models of all races in his shows and advertisements.
In the 1980s, St. Laurent’s health began to decline. He suffered from depression and addiction, and he retired from the fashion world in 2002. He died in 2008 at the age of 71.
The life of Yves St. Laurent was one of great achievement and enduring legacy. His designs changed the face of fashion and his influence is still felt today.