With an early and eager interest in fashion, Yves Saint Laurent was inspired by a play by Moliere called ‘Ecole des Femmes’ - he was instantly enchanted by the costumes and sets. With his family encouraging his aspirations, Saint Laurent travelled to Paris in 1955 to enrol in a professional pattern cutting school for three months. Within a short time, his drawings had captured the attention of French Vogue editor, Michel de Brunhoff. Struck by the similarities of the aspiring artist's style to those of Christian Dior’s forthcoming collection, he subsequently introduced Saint Laurent to Dior, who immediately hired him as an assistant. Quickly making his mark as a protegee, Dior's unexpected death in 1957 found Saint Laurent taking over as head designer of the house of Dior. He presented his first Dior collection in January 1958 - at which time the house of Dior was responsible for nearly 50% of French fashion exports, making Saint Laurent’s success crucial for the French economy. His first show featuring the “trapeze” look was heralded as an instant triumph, with Yves Saint Laurent recognised as the ‘saviour’ of French industry.
Announcing plans to open his own couture house, Saint Laurent presented his first collection in 1962. Over the following years he pioneered pivotal trends such as the ‘Le Smoking jacket,’ regarded as a cardinal moment for the arrival of androgynous style. Saint Laurent sold his fashion house in 1993 and during the 1998–1999 seasons, Alber Elbaz, formerly of Lanvin, designed three ready-to-wear collections. Pierre Bergé then appointed Hedi Slimane as collections and art director in 1997, and they relaunched YSL Rive Gauche Homme. In 1999, Gucci bought the YSL brand and brought in Tom Ford to design the ready-to-wear collection, while Saint Laurent himself would design the haute couture line. Following Saint Laurent's death in 2008, Hedi Slimane returned to the brand, replacing Stefano Pilati as the creative director. In 2015, Slimane announced that he would be reviving Yves Saint Laurent's couture line, rebranding the ready-to-wear collection as Saint Laurent. In 2016, Slimane left Saint Laurent and Anthony Vaccarello took over as creative director.
Saint Laurent is known to have stated on a number of occasions that "Chanel freed women, and I empowered them." Saint Laurent Eyewear represents the house's distinctive heritage and attitude; seductive, timeless and contemporary. The Saint Laurent eyewear collection is distinguished by outstanding quality and a striking mix of masculine and feminine aesthetics. Each statement silhouette, ranging from strong cat-eyes to bold square shapes, blends seamlessly with unique colourways, innovative patterns and subtle branding. Taking inspiration from the original Yves Saint Laurent glamorous rock'n'roll muses, each pair of Saint Laurent glasses is decorated with distinctive accents such as metal hardware, YSL monograms and exaggerated shapes.
#PRETLOVES Saint Laurent