Yves Saint Laurent got his start in fashion by designing dresses for his mother and sisters in his early teens. A few years later he began attending the Chambre Syndicale de la Haute Couture in Paris where his designs were quickly noticed. He went on to study under Christian Dior where his designs gained even more notice. Saint Laurent worked his way up through the Dior fashion house, and when Christian Dior died suddenly of a heart attack, Saint Laurent found himself as the head designer of the Dior house at age 21.
His spring 1958 collection was very well received and saved the Dior house from devastating financial ruin. His designs were inspired by Dior’s New Look which catapulted him into stardom with his Trapeze Dress design. In the 60’s, Saint Laurent and his partner Pierre Berge started their own fashion house - YSL. It was during this time that he created perhaps one of his most famous designs - the Mondrian dress, inspired by artist Piet Mondrian’s abstract paintings. Another style that Saint Laurent is known for is the Beatnik look of the 60’s, specifically the women’s tuxedo jacket he called “Le Smoking.”
Saint Laurent was the first French haute couture house to launch a pret-a-porter (ready to wear) line. This turned out to be a good choice for him as his ready to wear line made much more profit than his couture line.
Saint Laurent is a highly revered fashion designer whose fashion house, YSL, is still creating new designs today. His brand is very luxurious and high quality, with a women’s suit jacket selling for about $4,000 on his website. YSL has been known for creating innovative, high-quality designs and Saint Laurent’s legacy lives on through his fashion house.