Yves Saint Laurent (brand)

Yves Saint Laurent SAS[2] (/ˌv ˌsæ̃ lɔːˈrɒ̃/, also UK: /- lɒˈ-/, US: /- lˈ-/; French: [iv sɛ̃ lɔʁɑ̃] (listen); YSL), also known as Saint Laurent,[3] is a French luxury fashion house founded 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 creative director.[4][5][6]

Yves Saint Laurent SAS
Saint Laurent
TypeSubsidiary (SAS)
Founded1962; 60 years ago (1962)
FounderYves Saint Laurent
Pierre Bergé
Key people
Francesca Bellettini (CEO)
Anthony Vaccarello (creative director)
ProductsReady-to-wear products, leather goods, shoes and jewellery
Revenue€2.52 billion (2021)[1]

Founded in 1962, today Saint Laurent markets a range of women's and men's ready-to-wear products, leather goods, shoes and jewellery. Yves Saint Laurent Beauté also has a presence in the beauty and fragrance market,[7] although this is owned by L'Oréal, which holds exclusive licenses for the name.


Evening dress by Tom Ford for YSL Rive Gauche, 2004

The eponymous brand was founded in 1962 by designer Yves Saint Laurent and his partner, Pierre Bergé. 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 a tuxedo suit for women in 1966, Le Smoking suit. Some of its collections include the Pop Art, Ballet Russes, Picasso, and Chinese. Saint Laurent also started mainstreaming the idea of wearing silhouettes from the 1920s, 1930s and 1940s[citation needed] and is credited with initiating in 1978 the broad, shoulder-padded styles that would characterize the 1980s.[9] 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.[10] 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 expanded 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.[11]

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 left the house two years later, to become 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 quoted as saying, "Chanel freed women, and I empowered them."[11] Saint Laurent also stated, "I created the contemporary woman's wardrobe."[11]

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.[12]

In 2009, following the death of Yves Saint Laurent in 2008 and a tumultuous first few years for Stefano Pilati,[11] 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.[13]

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.[14] In 2016, Slimane left Saint Laurent.[15] His replacement is Anthony Vaccarello.[16]

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.[17] 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.[11]

Slimane stated that he drew inspiration from when the ready-to-wear line was first launched as Saint Laurent Rive Gauche.[18] However, the decision made headlines. It became more controversial after it was reported that the Parisian boutique Colette was selling shirts with the line "Ain't Laurent without Yves." Saint Laurent requested the store 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.[19]

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.[20]

In 2021 the brand presents the campaign "Te ride".[21]


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 boutiques in the resort locations of Bal Harbour and Las Vegas, 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,[23] Munich, Berlin, Prague, Warsaw, and Kyiv, to Bologna, Rome, Moscow, Monte Carlo and Cannes. Locations in the Middle East include Beirut, Casablanca, Abu Dhabi, Dubai,[24] Doha, Kuwait City, and Jeddah. In Asia Saint Laurent boutiques can be found in Jakarta, Bangkok, Manila, Seoul, Singapore, Macau, Taiwan, and Hong Kong.[25] The brand has a heavy presence in Japan with boutiques in Kyoto, Tokyo, and Osaka. In China, standalone boutiques are located in Wuhan, Shanghai, Beijing and Chongqing.


  1. ^ "Kering Revenue Tops $20 Billion in 2021, Boosted by Growth from Gucci". 17 February 2022.
  2. ^ "Yves Saint Laurent SAS: Private Company Information". www.bloomberg.com. Retrieved 2018-01-01.
  3. ^ "Saint Laurent". Kering. Retrieved 2018-01-01.
  4. ^ Anthony Vaccarello Stuck to His Sexy DNA at Saint Laurent, Véronique Hyland, New York February 28, 2017
  5. ^ Vanessa Friedman, The Apocalypse Comes to Saint Laurent The New York Times March 1, 2017
  6. ^ Mark Holgate, "My Idea of YSL Lies in the Attitude"—Anthony Vaccarello Talks Saint Laurent Vogue September 27, 2016
  7. ^ The Moisturizer (26 November 2018). "Review: Yves Saint Laurent L'Homme After Shave". Retrieved 28 November 2018.
  8. ^ Henri Mouron (1986). Cassandre : Posters, Typography, Stage Designs. London: Thames and Hudson. pp. 147–148. ISBN 0-500-23450-7.
  9. ^ Donovan, Carrie (1978-11-12). "Why the Big Change Now". The New York Times. p. 226. Retrieved 2021-11-18. 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. ^ Alicia Drake. The Beautiful Fall: Lagerfeld, Saint Laurent, and Glorious Excess in 1970s Paris. Little, Brown and Company, 2006. p.49.
  11. ^ a b c d e "Yves Saint Laurent – Voguepedia". vogue.com. Retrieved 2014-03-21.
  12. ^ "Fashion Shows: Fashion Week, Runway, Designer Collections – Vogue". Style.com. 2016-06-17. Retrieved 2016-06-21.
  13. ^ "Yves Saint Laurent Hands Over Their Oak Street Lease – Intelligence – Racked Chicago". chicago.racked.com. 2 September 2011. Retrieved 2014-03-21.
  14. ^ Fraser, Kristopher (July 28, 2015). "Saint Laurent announces revival of couture". FashionUnited. Retrieved July 30, 2015.
  15. ^ Miles Socha (April 2016). "Saint Laurent Confirms Hedi Slimane Exit – WWD". Wwd.com. Retrieved 2016-06-21.
  16. ^ "How Will Anthony Vaccarello Change YSL?". Highsnobiety.com. 7 April 2016. Retrieved 2016-06-21.
  17. ^ "Name Change Ahead at Yves Saint Laurent – Designer Luxury – Markets – WWD.com". wwd.com. 21 June 2012. Retrieved 2014-03-21.
  18. ^ "SAINT LAURENT rive gauche". Musée Yves Saint Laurent Paris. Retrieved 2022-02-23.
  19. ^ "Saint Laurent withdraw from Colette over parody T-shirt – Telegraph". fashion.telegraph.co.uk. Retrieved 2014-03-21.
  20. ^ hero-magazine.com Charlotte Gainsbourg is the new face of Saint Laurent, ALEX JAMES TAYLOR, 18 MAY 2017
  21. ^ Teen, Vanity (2021-11-26). "Saint Laurent Rive Droite Super73 Vanity Teen 虚荣青年 Lifestyle & New Faces Magazine". www.vanityteen.com. Retrieved 2022-02-23.
  22. ^ "Saint Laurent opens new flagship store in Paris". dezeen.com. 15 May 2013. Retrieved 2014-03-21.
  23. ^ ES, FashionNetwork com. "Bottega Veneta y Saint Laurent abrirán nuevas tiendas en Madrid esta primavera". FashionNetwork.com (in Spanish). Retrieved 2022-02-23.
  24. ^ "LA NUEVA TIENDA DE SAINT LAURENT". Vishop Magazine (in Spanish). 2018-06-06. Retrieved 2022-02-23.
  25. ^ "Hong Kong - Harbour City Store | SAINT LAURENT HK | SAINT LAURENT". www.ysl.com. Retrieved 2022-02-23.

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