SAINT LAURENT rive gauche

In the 1960s, society had evolved in such a way that the norms imposed by haute couture had become obsolete. A growing number of women wanted to be able to dress themselves elegantly and affordably. Yves Saint Laurent followed his desire to create clothing for everyone, not just the wealthy.

On September 26, 1966, Saint Laurent became the first couturier to open a ready-to-wear boutique under his name. It was located at 21 rue de Tournon in Paris’s 6e arrondissement. Instead of conceiving ready-to-wear as a lower priced version of haute couture, he created a completely separate collection and treated the prototypes with just as much care.

It was a definite success. A boutique opened in New York in 1968, and a London branch followed the year after. In 1969, Saint Laurent also opened a ready-to-wear boutique for men.

I had had enough of making dresses for jaded billionaires.

Yves Saint Laurent

Saint Laurent’s women are from harems, castles, and even the suburbs; they are all over the streets, subways, dime stores, and stock exchanges.

Marguerite Duras, “Le Bruit et le Silence,” preface to Yves Saint Laurent et la photographie de mode.


Interview d'Yves Saint Laurent à propos de sa marque de prêt-à-porter SAINT LAURENT rive gauche © INA