(1936 – 2008) Yves Saint Laurent went to Paris at age 17 to find work in fashion. He was soon hired by Christian Dior as an assistant. They worked together for several years, and when Dior died in 1957, Saint Laurent was made the head designer. His first collection, Spring 1958, was called the Trapeeze, and was an immediate hit.
But subsequent collections were not so well received, and when Saint Laurent returned to Paris after a brief time in the army, he found that he had been replaced at Dior by Marc Bohan. In 1962 he opened his own couture house. Rive Gauche, his ready-to-wear line, was established in 1966.
Saint Laurent’s influence was immediate and far-reaching. Among his successes – the Mondrian collection in 1965, Le Smoking tuxedo suits of 1967 and beyond, the Safari suits of 1968 and the Russian inspired collection of 1976.
The Yves Saint Laurent Encore line was a secondary label introduced in 1993 for the US market.
Saint Laurent retired in 2002. His couture atelier was closed, but the Rive Gauche line continued to be designed by Tom Ford, who started there in 2000. In 2004, Ford left Saint Laurent, and Ford’s assistant Stefano Pilati was named the new creative director. In 2012 Pilati was dismissed, and Hedi Slimane was named the new designer. Also in 2012, the name of the company was changed to Saint Laurent Paris.
Yves Saint Laurent died in 2008.
Written by fuzzylizzie