Born in Algeria, then a French colony, Saint Laurent moved to Paris at the age of seventeen. There, his fashion sketches brought him to the attention of Christian Dior. Following Dior’s death in 1957, Saint Laurent took over as head designer at Dior, before opening his own couture house in 1961.
The first of Saint Laurent’s Rive Gauche boutiques, selling his ready-to-wear lines, opened in 1966.
Two years later, in 1968, he designed the iconic safari suit for both men and women. Originally worn only for going on safari, the suit has become a fashion classic and during the 1970s was adopted as a signature look by some gay men.