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History

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01/22/1981 Yourcenar at the Académie Française

Marguerite Cleenwerck de Crayencour (anagram of Yourcenar) was born on 8 June 1903 in Belgium. In 1951, she publishedLes Mémoires d'Hadrien, which became an international sensation. This was followed by L'oeuvre au noir, which won the Femina literary prize in 1968. The first woman named to the Académie Française, seat number 3 which had been left vacant by the death of Roger Caillois, Marguerite Yourcenar chose Yves Saint Laurent to design her official uniform.

Yves Saint Laurent et Paloma Picasso au Palace pour le lancement de Kouros / Yves Saint Laurent et Paloma Picasso at the launch party for Kouros at the Palace night club

02/20/1981 Nureyev dances for Kouros

Rudolf Nureyev dances before 1,200 spectators at the Opéra Comique to celebrate the launch of Kouros perfume for men.

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07/1981 Hommage à Matisse

Pursuing his tradition of paying homage to artists in his collections, Yves Saint Laurent celebrates the painter of colors. This collection also marks the grand return of a classic that had been explored in all its facets since 1966: the smoking. 

The smoking renders everything brilliant and unveils the unbearable. I find the smoking very sexy.  
- Loulou de la Falaise

01/29/1982 Yves Saint Laurent Turns 20

The 20th anniversary of the fashion house was celebrated at the Lido in Paris. 
Diana Vreeland presented Yves with The International Fashion Award of the Council of Fashion Designers of America during the ceremonies. 
Over 1,000 guests, including Catherine Deneuve in a smoking, the photographer Horst and Cécile de Rothschild joined in the festivities.

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1983  Launch of 'PARIS' perfume

Your perfume nails me against a tree. I will not forget it. I will find you again some day. There are a thousand places in Paris where I can see you again and crush your roses against my heart. Our roses. The most beautiful. Maybe you were just an excuse to realize my dream: offering a perfume to Paris. The prestigious Paris which dazzles. Your blazing and crackling fireworks make the world sparkle. I have chosen your name for this perfume, because none is more beautiful. Because I love you. My Paris. 
- Yves Saint Laurent

10/23/1985 The Greatest Couturier...

At a ceremony at the Paris Opera, Yves Saint Laurent receives the “greatest couturier” Oscar for his lifetime achievements in the fashion industry.

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11/1986 Acquisition of Charles of the Ritz

Following a wave of mergers and acquisitions in the 1980s, Squibb Pharmaceuticals decided to concentrate on its core activities and sell off Charles of the Ritz which included Yves Saint Laurent's fragrances and a dozen other brands (Gianni Versace perfumes, Giorgio of Beverly Hills...). 

In 1972, Squibb had sold the fashion house back to Pierre Bergé and Yves Saint Laurent for $1.1 million. By 1985, the couture activities and brand name of YSL were generating over $1.2 billion in sales. Pierre Bergé felt that YSL perfumes had the same potential for growth. But Squibb was asking for $630 million for Charles of the Ritz and the cautious French banks were hesitant to back the purchase. 

Pierre Bergé and Yves Saint Laurent finally managed to make the acquisition in November 1986 with the participation of Carlo de Benedetti who already had a foothold in France through Cerus, which was run by Alain Minc. Business Week Magazine called the deal “a mix of glamor and business that Paris loves.”

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01/1988 Homage to Cubism and Impressionnism

Yves Saint Laurent creates striking embroidered jackets in tribute to Van Gogh's irises and sunflowers. Each jacket requires 670 hours of work.

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08/31/1988 Paris Operas

The French government names Pierre Bergé as president of the Paris operas, which include the famous Opéra Garnier, the Opéra Comique and the newly established Opéra Bastille. He accepts the post without any salary because of his love for music and dance.

 07/06/1989 IPO on the Paris Stock Market

Pierre Bergé devant la Bourse de Paris, Juin 1989 / Pierre Bergé in front of the Paris Bourse, June 1989

Groupe Yves Saint Laurent enters the Second Marché of the Paris Bourse. The presentation of the company takes place far from the world of finance, at the Louvre Museum with opera music playing in the background. The demand for stocks is 250 times higher than the offer.

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Hommages

Yves Saint Laurent's spectacular spring-summer 1990 collection was a tribute to various artists who had influenced him throughout his career: Bernard Buffet, Zizi Jeanmaire, Catherine Deneuve, Marcel Proust...
The show at the Intercontinental Hotel's ballroom was a massive success, with the audience applauding for over 10 minutes when Yves Saint Laurent appeared on the catwalk.

Under the headline 'Saint Laurent's Show is Strongest in 10 Years,' the International Herald Tribune's Suzy Menkes described the collection as 'breathtaking in its variety, pure in it's conception, whimsical in its fantasy, lyrical in its coloring...'



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