Yves Saint Laurent founded his eponymous label with his then partner, Pierre Bergé, in 1962. The French luxury fashion house became the catalyst for women dawning on the the classic tuxedo, Le Smoking suit. Saint Laurent also popularized safari jackets, shirt dresses, the beatnik look, and the iconic Mondrian dress. He was recognized as one of the first designers to feature black models on his runway shows. In 1993, Yves Saint Laurent was sold to a pharmaceutical company for $600 million before it was acquired by the Gucci Group in 1999. Alber Elbaz took over as the creative director of the prêt-a-porter line Rive Gauche in 1998, while Saint Laurent remained as the designer of his couture collection until his retirement in 2002, which also marked the closing of the couture house. After three seasons, Elbaz was succeeded by Tom Ford, who introduced a much sexier and provocative interpretation of the French house. After the departure of Ford in 2004, Stefano Pilati was brought on as the new designer for Yves Saint Laurent, who returned to the roots of the label, favoring a more French style than Ford’s heightened sexy appeal. In 2012, Hedi Slimane was brought on to replace Pilati. After rebranding the fashion house’s ready to wear as Saint Laurent, Slimane brought his rock ‘n’ roll inspirations to the label’s fashions, embracing a younger market.
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