Yves Saint Laurent was born on August 1, 1936 in Oran, Algeria. Saint Laurent was born into a relatively well-off family, but childhood wasn’t easy. As a child he was bullied for appearing to be homosexual through school. By his early teens he had found comfort in fashion and was already designing dresses for his mother and sisters. At 17, his mother took him to Paris where he showed his drawings to Muchel de Brunhoff, director of French Vogue. De Brunhoff published several of them and caught the attention of Christian Dior. Saint Laurent mastered his style under Dior, but after the death of Dior in 1957, he was called back for national service. On his return he found his job was no longer there so in 1962 Saint Laurent set up on his fashion house with Pierre Berge.
In 1966 Saint Laurent introduced le smoking- his legendary smoking suit, as well as the reefer jacket and sheer blouse and jumpsuit. With society''s changing attitudes and the rise of pop culture his designs catapulted him to the top of the fashion world. In 1998 Saint Laurent showed his ready- to- wear collection for the Rive Gauche label, however profits within the company were declining and the fashion house was sold to Sanofi. In the seasons from 1998-1999 Alber Elbaz designed three collections. In 1999 Tom Ford arrived to take control at the house, he would design the ready-to-wear collection while Saint Laurent would design the haute couture collection. Yves Saint Laurent stepped down and took his final show in 2002. The brand now has collections in perfume’s, cosmetics and menswear as well as womenswear. In 2005 Stefano Pilati replaced Tom Ford as he left to launch his own brand. Today creative director is Anthony Vaccarello and he continues to follow Saint Laurens ideology that ‘dressing is a way of life’.