Founded in 1961, Yves Saint Laurent is one of the most prominent fashion houses of the 20th century. Originally a House of Haute Couture, Yves Saint Laurent revolutionized modern fashion in 1966 with the introduction of luxury ready-to-wear under the name Saint Laurent Rive Gauche.
Since its inception, Yves Saint Laurent has held enormous influence both inside and outside the fashion industry. Over the years, its founder, the couturier Yves Saint Laurent secured a reputation as one of the 20th century’s foremost designers and personalities.
Yves Saint Laurent’s creativity was the heart of the brand, pushing boundaries forward, and he was never afraid of shocking or provoking in the name of empowerment and freedom of thoughts. The Maison was the first one to be at the same time revolutionary and luxury, and this spirit is at the basis of its DNA.
Saint Laurent’s status as a leading fashion House is fully established and recognized, with a very distinctive identity and strong codes that are perfectly identified and made relevant to our time.
Saint Laurent now competes globally with high-end exclusive luxury brands and occupies a leading position in the sector.
Saint Laurent designs and markets a broad range of men’s and women’s ready-to-wear, handbags, shoes, small leather goods, jewellery, scarves, ties and eyewear.
Production is mainly divided between Italy and France, where its original workshop still manufactures ready-to-wear garments. Under worldwide license agreements, the House also produces and distributes eyewear, fragrances and cosmetics.
Saint Laurent is a bold, dramatic and sexy fashion label. Yves Saint Laurent started his label in the 1960s just as when women were starting to dress elegantly however, the majority could not afford it. YSL wanted to create clothes that all women could afford, whilst still having the luxury feel and look to them. Since then Saint Laurent, as a brand, has continued to create lavish clothes and accessories for both males and females.
The clothes are very sharp, elegant and timeless, the classic 'Le Smoking' tux-edo that liberated women is a perfect example. Because Saint Laurent is not sold in high street shops, the brand name becomes exclusive and associated with people who have appreciation for fashion and who are wealthy.
YSL also has a very high status in the makeup and cosmetic industry. The most iconic makeup product has to be 'Touche Éclat', which was the original face highlighter. The packaging for the makeup products is primarily gold which gives the product a very luxury feel to it.
The difference between the clothing and makeup is that makeup products are easier to buy as they are sold in high street shops such as John Lewis and
Boots. This could possibly take away the exclusivity of the brand as anyone can get hold of it. However, Yves Saint Laurent's main aim in the beginning was
to make products that were affordable and accessible for women everywhere.
In 2012, Hedi Slimane was appointed as the Creative and lmage Director of the brand. Today the brand is owned by the group 'Kering', with other brands such
as Gucci, Balenciaga and Alexander McQueen. Slimane rebranded the label and
took it back to its original style. The biggest change he did was redesign the logo. The original logo has remained with its accessories such as bags, shoes and
cosmetics. J N Kapferer explained that the brand identity can not be disassociated with the creator's identity. beauty of body, of charm, of surrender to romance, and is flavoured with a hint of ostentatious indecency.
"Saint Laurent is a sophisticated brand that originally reached out and appealed to wealthy middle age consumers. As time has gone by, the brand has taken interest to young, trendy adults who are
interested in couture and fashion. using colours like black and gold for its packaging gives the brand a very classy, mature and sexy vibe.