Richest BusinessDesigners
Net Worth:
$600 Million
Aug 1, 1936 - Jun 1, 2008 (71 years old)
Oran, French Algeria
Fashion designer
đź’° Compare Yves Saint Laurent's Net Worth

What was Yves Saint Laurent's Net Worth?

Yves Saint Laurent was a French fashion designer who had a net worth of $600 million at the time of his death in 2008. Yves Saint Laurent was born in Oran, French Algeria in August 1936 and passed away in June 2008. He was best known for his eponymous fashion line and is considered one of the most successful designers of the 20th century. His career began by submitting sketches to a contest in 1953 and winning first place. By 21 years old he was the head designer at the House of Dior. In 1962 he launched the fashion house Yves Saint Laurent YSL with his partner Pierre Berge.

Considered one of the preeminent fashion designers of the 20th century, he is credited with facilitating the revival of couture and legitimizing ready-to-wear garments. Saint Laurent is also renowned for introducing the Le Smoking tuxedo suit for women and the shoulder-padded look of the 1980s.

Laurent was the first living fashion designer honored with a solo exhibition at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in 1983. Yves Saint Laurent passed away on June 1, 2008 at 71 years old from brain cancer.

Estate Sale

The estate sale of Yves Saint Laurent was a highly publicized event that took place in 2009, following the designer's death in 2008. The sale included over 700 lots of artwork, furniture, and other personal items that had been collected by Saint Laurent and his partner, Pierre Bergé, over the course of their relationship. The auction, which was conducted by Christie's in Paris, was one of the largest and most valuable private collections to ever be sold at auction, with a total value of over $480 million and included works by Picasso and Matisse. Some of the most notable items included a painting by Mondrian that sold for over $27 million, and a bust of the Pharaoh Tutankhamun that sold for over $5 million.

Company Sale

Yves Saint Laurent sold his business to the French luxury goods conglomerate Gucci Group (now known as Kering) in 1999. The sale was reportedly worth over $1 billion, and made Yves Saint Laurent one of the richest fashion designers in the world at the time. Following the sale, Yves Saint Laurent remained involved in the creative direction of the brand until his retirement in 2002. After his retirement, the brand continued to be successful under the leadership of designer Stefano Pilati and later Hedi Slimane. In recent years, the brand has undergone several changes in creative direction and leadership, but remains one of the most iconic and influential fashion houses in the world.

Kering is one of the world's leading luxury goods groups, with a portfolio of high-end fashion and lifestyle brands that includes Gucci, Balenciaga, Alexander McQueen, Bottega Veneta, and many others.

Early Life and Education

Yves Saint Laurent was born on August 1, 1936 in Oran in what was then French Algeria to French parents Lucienne and Charles. He grew up with his two younger sisters, Michèle and Brigitte, in a Mediterranean villa. As a youth, Saint Laurent was fond of making elaborate paper dolls, and by his early adolescence was designing dresses for his sisters and mother. When he was 17, he moved to Paris and enrolled at the Chambre Syndicale de la Haute Couture. There, Saint Laurent's designs gained fast recognition, and he was soon introduced to fashion giant Christian Dior, under whom he studied.

House of Dior

After graduating from the Chambre Syndicale de la Haute Couture, Saint Laurent was hired by Dior. During his first year at the House of Dior, he performed mostly mundane tasks, such as decorating the studio. Eventually, he was able to submit sketches for the couture collection, and many of his sketches were accepted. In 1957, Dior announced that Saint Laurent was to be his successor; not long after that, Dior died from a heart attack. Subsequently, Saint Laurent became the head designer at the House of Dior at the age of 21. He was a major boon to the company, as his spring 1958 collection saved the enterprise from financial disaster. Saint Laurent was soon launched to stardom thanks to the collection, called the Trapeze line, which involved simple, flaring lines and narrow shoulders.

Military Service

In 1960, Saint Laurent was conscripted to serve in the French Army during the Algerian War. However, he only served for 20 days before the stress of fellow soldiers hazing him caused him to be admitted to a military hospital. There, Saint Laurent learned that he had been fired from Dior. Matters were made worse when he was given large doses of psychoactive drugs and subjected to electroshock therapy.



Following a period of recovery from his time in the hospital, Saint Laurent partnered with his boyfriend, industrialist Pierre Bergé, to found the luxury fashion house Yves Saint Laurent, or YSL. The label went on to become one of the most renowned of all fashion labels in the latter half of the 20th century. Throughout the 60s and 70s, YSL popularized such trends as the beatnik look, tight trousers, safari jackets, and thigh-high boots. It also introduced the Le Smoking tuxedo suit, one of the first tuxedo ensembles designed for women to gain recognition in the world of fashion. Among its other innovations, YSL is credited with being the first French couture brand to launch a ready-to-wear line.

In the late 60s and early 70s, Saint Laurent designed costumes for actress Catherine Deneuve, who happened to be the first customer at his Rive Gauche store on the rue de Tournon in Paris. He designed her clothes for such films as "Heartbeat," "Mississippi Mermaid," and "Love to Eternity." Later, in 1978, Saint Laurent had a major success with his introduction of the broad, shoulder-padded look, which would go on to dominate fashion in the 80s.

Personal Life

Due to his wealth and fame, Saint Laurent was among the Paris jet set in the 60s and 70s. He frequently attended clubs in France and New York City, including the famed Studio 54, where he often abused alcohol and cocaine.

Openly gay, Saint Laurent dated industrialist Pierre Bergé, who was also his business partner. In the late-70s, the pair purchased the neo-Gothic villa Chateau Gabriel in Benerville-sur-Mer, France. One of the previous owners of the villa was Marcel Proust, of whom Saint Laurent was a big fan. Saint Laurent and Bergé commissioned interior designer Jacques Grange to decorate the home with themes inspired by Proust's seminal novel "In Search of Lost Time." In 1980, Saint Laurent and Bergé bought another property, this one in Marrakech, Morocco.

Death and Legacy

On June 1, 2008, Saint Laurent passed away from brain cancer at his home in Paris. He was 71 years old. His body was cremated and his ashes were scattered around his villa in Marrakech.

Saint Laurent's impact on the world of fashion can still be felt today. The history of his brand is documented at a foundation he established in Paris that includes 5,000 pieces of clothing and 15,000 objects. Saint Laurent has also been the subject of many films, including the 2014 biopics "Yves Saint Laurent" and "Saint Laurent," with the designer portrayed by Pierre Niney and Gaspard Ulliel, respectively.

All net worths are calculated using data drawn from public sources. When provided, we also incorporate private tips and feedback received from the celebrities or their representatives. While we work diligently to ensure that our numbers are as accurate as possible, unless otherwise indicated they are only estimates. We welcome all corrections and feedback using the button below.
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