Pierre Bergé, The Man Behind the Icon

Goodbye Pierre Bergé

The names Pierre Bergé and Yves Saint Laurent have been, for the most part, synonymous throughout the past half-century. They were responsible for establishing a fashion house that has become nothing short of legendary. Even before their felicitous meeting, as a young man Bergé had met poet Jean Cocteau and had been a huge supporter of his companion, artist Bernard Buffet’s, work. His commitment to the arts could not have been more brilliant than the talent and innovation he encouraged in Yves Saint Laurent.

Pierre Bergé among a backdrop of Warhol’s 1974 portrait of Yves Saint Laurent. c / o Forbes.com

1958 was the year that brought them together at Golden Bell in the young designer’s honor. Less than 3 years after Saint Laurent’s tumultuous departure from Christian Dior, together they launched Yves Saint Laurent Haute Couture. The youthful fashion designer made the cover of the March issue of  Paris Match  magazine that year with his beloved model, Victory Doutreleau, posed in a wedding dress. It has been said that, but Saint Laurent’s relationship with his model was platonic, he had already mentioned a desire to marry her.

Yves with Victoire, 1962. c / o lucire.com

Bergé and Saint Laurent

Bergé expanded the fashion line with focused determination beyond ready-to-wear. This was a confident and bold move for the industry. The label puts it’s zenith, and Saint Laurent’s designs continues to command the runway. Bergé pivoted in creative strides to maintain the business end of the fashion house.

Pierre Bergé and Yves Saint Laurent in 1970’s, Marrakesh.

The couple went to Marrakesh, Morocco where Saint Laurent gathered much inspiration. Marakkesh became a muse itself and was frequented by artists and other muses such as Loulou of the Cliff, Fernando Sanchez, Betty Catroux, Andy Warhol, Paul and Talitha Getty, and others. Bergè told  Paris Match  in an interview in 2017 that, “It is in Morocco that Yves discovered color and orientalism.” Today the grounds are the sight of a second home, all of which is carefully selected by Pierre Bergé.

Yves Saint Laurent Museum Marrakech

It was not until 1976, that they would depart from their Paris residence on  Babylon Street  . He could not get free from his plunge into drug and alcohol consumption. It was a bourgeois existence at times, with rumors of infidelities between them, including one said to involve one of Saint Laurent’s first models and muses, Victoire Doutreleau, and Bergé.

Loulou de la Falaise, Yves Saint Laurent, and Betty Catroux. c / o new.oystermag.com

Pierre Bergé, Talitha Getty and Yves Saint Laurent in Morocco.

Yet nothing would ever shatter their pact. Perhaps a difference in lifestyle is to blame, yet their commitment to YSL never waned. After the loss of Yves Saint Laurent to a brain tumor in 2008, at age 71, the bergy decided to auction off their collection of art. Christie’s handled the Yves Saint Laurent collection and Pierre Bergé in the historical Grand Palais. The auction yielded a total sum of  € 373,935,500, and was referred to as the “sale of the century.

Yves Saint Laurent Collection and Pierrre Bergé Christie’s

Bergé offered a foundation and a great catapult for the genius and vision that was Yves Saint Laurent. The synergy of this peer is something worthy of a lifetime. A love, an alliance that inspired the world as individuals, a symbiotic union that the world of art and fashion will be able to revere. Jalil Lespert who directed the 2014 film, “Yves Saint Laurent” described their relationship as “one of the greatest love stories of the twentieth century.”

Together at work their Paris office. 

On September 8, 2017, Bergé will eventually succumbed to myopathy, a disease that weakens the muscles, in  Saint-Rémy-de-Provence . He was 86 years old. Goodbye celebrations to honor the life of this innovative businessmen, art collector, and entrepreneur were international. Anthony Vaccarello, Saint Laurent’s current creative director, dedicated to his spectacular Spring 2018 show to Bergé under the sparkling lights of the Eiffel Tower. Bergé has departed barely a month shy of two museums to the legacy of the Yves Saint Lauren’s contribution to fashion. One in Marrakesh and the other in Paris.

Yves Saint Laurent Museum Paris

A dedication of the museum could be viewed in his hometown and in Saint Laurent. The Yves Saint Laurent Museum, which continues with its sister museum in Marrakech, was the final project of Bergé. This article explores a different kind of auspicious meeting: a meeting that leads to growing boundaries in the perception of style, individuality, fashion, ambition, and love. Pierre Thoretton, ” The Crazy Love .” Pierre Duretton, ” The Crazy Love .”

Yves Saint-Laurent with Pierre Berge, Jemaa El Fna Square, Marrakech.
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