Yves Mathieu-Saint-Laurent was born in Oran where he spent his youth, before arriving in Paris to work at Dior. Gifted draftsman, his influence is growing in this house until replacing Christian Dior to the sudden death of the couturier. Yves Saint Laurent then knows a triumph at the age of twenty-one years, from the first collection "Trapeze". A few years later, he left the prestigious house of Avenue Montaigne to found the company that bears his name in 1961, with his companion Pierre Bergé who will not leave him until his death. The first haute couture collection is presented in 1962; it will be followed by the Mondrian dress or the "Pop Art" collection, which is reminiscent of his taste for art, then The tuxedo and pantsuit inherited from the male wardrobe, the Saharan that he transforms from a functional garment into an element chic, waders, transparent blouses that make so much ink in the press in full sexual revolution.
In the 1970s, the "Liberation" collection marked the spirits; later, several other fashion shows pay tribute to painters, such as Matisse or Van Gogh, to his distant inspirations such as Russia with the collection "Opera-Ballets-Russes" or Asia, collection symbolized by the Opium fragrance.
In the following decade, he presents the collection "Picasso" once again reference to art. During these years, the company grows by the success of perfumes, cosmetics or accessories. The couturier is then rewarded with an Oscar of fashion. In the late 1990s, tired of designing ready-to-wear, he focused on haute couture and finally abandoned it in 2002.
The YSL group has been bought and belongs since 1999 to the group Gucci. Various artistic directors for the ready-to-wear collection followed one another (Tom Ford, Stefano Pilati, Hedi Slimane and since 2016 by Anthony Vaccarello).