The Associated Press is reporting that Yves Saint Laurent has died today in Paris at the age of 71. Details of his passing weren’t divulged; however, the designer had been long suffering from an illness.
In October 2006, Saint Laurent slipped and fell outside a Paris restaurant during Fashion Week, suffering slight scratches but reminding fans of the perennially fragile designer's advancing age.
In 1957, the Algerian-born Saint Laurent became the head designer of Christian Dior, making the line famous for his trapeze silhouette. In 1960, he was drafted into the military, setting off a lifelong battle with nerves and depression.
Pierre Berge, the designer's longtime business partner and former romantic partner, was quoted as saying that Saint Laurent was born with a nervous breakdown.
In 1962, the pair launched the Rive Gauche collection, which was famous for its pantsuits and tuxedo and smoking jackets. Saint Laurent sold the rights to his company to Gucci Group in 1999 and retired in 2002. It's said that friction between Tom Ford, Gucci’s then creative director, and Saint Laurent was one of the main reasons for his retirement. —Amina Akhtar