Yves Saint Laurent has an impressive history and reputation for iconic designs. Founded by Yves Saint Laurent, and self-titled, the brand began in 1961 as a house of haute couture. In 1966 Yves Saint Laurent became the first couturier to launch a ready-to-wear line, revolutionising high fashion. Throughout the 1960’s and ‘70’s, the luxury house created trends which would shake the fashion world, most notably the ‘Le Smoking’ womens tuxedo suit. This design exemplifies the energy that Saint Laurent wished to pursue- a gender fluid approach, merging the masculine into the feminine to create clothes that felt powerful to wear. Challenging not only gender, but silhouettes too, the brand took inspiration from styles of the 1920’s, ‘30’s and 40’s. Always unconventional, Yves Saint Laurent was seen as the first designer to take inspiration from non-European cultures, and used models who weren’t white. Saint Laurent’s designs were pioneering and are today seen as the ultimate source for inspiration in the fashion world.
‘Saint Laurent virtually blueprinted every trope of dressing we’re familiar with today, from androgyny to vintage-riffing, bohemian romanticism to hard-edged too-much-is-never-enough glamour.’- Vogue
Under Creative Director Hedi Slimane, Yves Saint Laurent remained just as highly respected as it had been historically. Slimane rebranded the company, dropped the ‘Yves’ from the title, and developed a clear and distinctive style for the label. Saint Laurent became known for its edgy glamour, creating cool and rebellious pieces in leather jackets and fierce boots.
Today, Anthony Vaccarello is Creative Director for the label, which is now a part of the Kering group. Vaccarello brings with him a fresh outlook to the Yves Saint Laurent brand, but retains the strong and sharp style which has always characterised their designs. Menswear, womenswear, bags and accessories are produced with a nod to the brand’s ever-innovative heritage. Saint Laurent himself wished to empower through his designs, and this is evident to this day in high-class pieces with a sharp edge. Sophisticated dresses are met with accessories embossed with the iconic YSL logo, and classic leather jackets remain timeless pieces in Yves Saint Laurent collections. Modern and impeccably stylish, even basic tees printed with chic branding provide effortless glamour.
Yves Saint Laurent has stores across the globe, as well as concessions in many department stores, selling YSL Beauty and perfumes. Their ready-to-wear and accessories can be found through their own website, as well as through Selfridges, Harrods and Matches Fashion.