A designer I admire or at least, always found interesting especially when it comes to clothing designers is Yves Saint Laurent. Truth be told, I didn’t know much about the brand or his place in fashion at first, years ago, when I first heard of this designer I initially had my interest piqued because I thought that this dude straight up had one of the sickest names ever. Like his name was actually Yves Saint Laurent. Who has Saint in their name like that? I thought it was pretty cool. Also the brand is pretty bougie these days which is also what helped draw my attention.
At any rate, on a whim one day I decided to read more about him and he had a pretty neat backstory as a designer. As you could probably guess, he’s French but was actually born in Albania to French parents. He had a pretty quick rise to fame, he impressed Michel de Brunhoff (who was the editor in chief of Vogue at the time) and soon found himself working with Christian Dior. In 1957 he was the head designer of the House of Dior. He went on to create YSL, his fashion house based on his own name in 1960 after some tumultuous times.
Something I think was cool about him was how inclusive he was to non-White models, championing diversity in model casting in addition to the way he drew on non-European cultures for inspiration for his designs. This diverse way of thinking was something I found pretty cool especially from a fashion powerhouse such as himself. On top of this he also is credited with introducing the “smoking suit”to women’s fashion and pushed the suit for women a lot in his designs. I found it cool how forward thinking he was, especially in that time (1960’s and 1970’s) and on top of that, still made a name for himself as well as being incredibly popular and well respected during his time. He pioneered and set many trends in the industry and established fashion concepts that would go on to be incredibly popular later on (like large shoulders pad looks he introduced in 1978 that became a staple in the 1980s). His legacy is an incredibly famous and prestigious fashion house under his own name that lives on to this day.
Paris, Calin Van. “A Timeline of Yves Saint Laurent’s Storied Fashion Career.” Allure, Allure, 1 Aug. 2016, https://www.allure.com/story/yves-saint-laurent-fashion-timeline.
“Saint Laurent’s Designs for Ballet Russe, 1976; Mondrian Dress, 1965; Homage to Picasso, 1979 (Credit: Fondation Pierre Bergé – Yves Saint Laurent, Paris/Alexandre Guirkinger).” How One Man Changed Fashion Forever, BBC, 3 Oct. 2017, https://www.bbc.com/culture/article/20170918-two-new-museums-pay-homage-to-the-iconic-yves-saint-laurent. Accessed 2 Feb. 2023.
“YSL.” Logos-World.net, Logos-World.net, 10 Jan. 2023, https://logos-world.net/ysl-logo/. Accessed 2 Feb. 2023.
“Yves Saint Laurent.” Musée Yves Saint Laurent Paris, Musée Yves Saint Laurent Paris, https://museeyslparis.com/biographie/le-neiman-marcus-award. Accessed 28 Feb. 2023.