One of the most iconic and influential of women’s fashion designers ever to grace the catwalk, Yves Saint Laurent (born Yves Henri Donat Mathieu-Saint-Laurent) was born in 1936 in the former French Algeria and moved to Paris at the tender age of 17 to pursue what was to be one of the most successful careers ever in fashion and fragrance. After a short spell in the army, Laurent started his own fashion company in the 1960s and there are now over 70 stores spanning worldwide across 27 different countries – the most prominent presence being in Europe across 17 different countries.

During a radical and evolutionary time of women’s fashion, Yves Saint Laurent stood head and shoulders above all other designers with his daring and bold design concepts, the most iconic of which is how he streamlined women’s fashion by introducing several lines of more unisex items – pant-suits, safari jackets and tuxedos for ladies are just some of the few examples of the contributors to their prosperity and although the house of Yves Saint Laurent is known for a whole variety of products, it’s success flourished when he developed one of the most iconic pieces of women’s fashion – ‘Le Smoking’ jacket, for which he is still credited for today.

The development of a very successful cosmetics line was introduced in 1978 and a series of fragrance lines were soon to follow in the 1980’s & 90’s. The first fragrance, Y for women, was launched in 1964 and still remains as one of the best selling perfumes from this brand to date. Other popular scents include Rive Gauche (1970), Opium (1977) and Paris (1983) which are still modern day classic scents, as are newer perfumes such as Baby Doll (2000), Elle (2007) and La Nuit de l’Homme (2009) which were created to attract the younger, more modern day fan and ensure the continuing success of this brand.

The YSL label can often be found amongst the wealthiest of women celebrities in Hollywood – Bridget Jones Star Renee Zellweger and actress Chloe Sevigny has been spotted wearing this popular fashion label and the iconic logo, which was first designed in 1963 and is still used today means that this brand is easily recognisable, and deservingly so. In addition to their female fashion and fragrance ranges, YSL can be found in most accessory lines including handbags, scarves, shoes, belts, jewellery and leather goods, either from their vast range of shops, online or in upmarket department stores and boutiques.

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