First Visit to Paris

Barely 17 years old, Yves Saint Laurent participated in the annual Secrétariat international de la laine competition. The jury was composed of well-known couturiers, such as Hubert de Givenchy and Christian Dior. The Secrétariat international de la laine represented wool producers in the Southern Hemisphere, promoting wool at a time when buyers were attracted by synthetic fabrics. The competition was comprised of three categories in which each candidate could participate: coats, suits, and dresses.

Saint Laurent won third place in the dress category and traveled to Paris with his mother to collect it.

With the help of his father’s contacts, he met Michel de Brunhoff, editor-in-chief of Vogue (Paris), during his first visit to the capital. De Brunhoff, whose influence was key in Saint Laurent’s career, encouraged him to continue designing while remaining focused on finishing high school.