Childhood in Oran

Yves Mathieu-Saint-Laurent was born in Oran, Algeria, on August 1, 1936. He was the son of Lucienne and Charles Mathieu-Saint-Laurent, manager of an insurance company and owner of a chain of cinemas. Yves and his sisters Michèle and Brigitte grew up among the society people of Oran.

While still a schoolboy, the shy and sensitive Saint Laurent was an avid reader of literary works and his mother’s fashion magazines.

Oran, not Paris, was our world at the time. Nor was it Algiers, Camus’s metaphysical city with its stark truths, or Marrakech, with its beneficial pink magic. Oran, a cosmopolitan place made up of merchants from everywhere and especially somewhere else, was a city that sparkled in a multicolored patchwork under the calm North African sun.

Yves Saint Laurent, 1983.