Pierre Bergé, co-founder of the brand Yves Saint Laurent and scion of the Paris opera community sadly passed away on September 8th at 86 years old.

Bergé and Saint Laurent created the famous fashion house in 1961, when the two men were lovers as well as co-workers. While Saint Laurent became the design star, Bergé handled the business, propelling the success of the label’s Haute Couture sales, as well as ready-to-wear and all other facets under the name, building the empire that is now worth hundreds of millions of dollars. The two men met in Paris in 1958, when Saint Laurent was already a rising fashion star at the house of Dior, and had a well documented and passionate love for decades, until the relationship ended in the 1980s. During this time Saint Laurent was becoming increasingly reclusive, while Bergé was finding his political voice with the rise of the Socialist movement in France.The famous house they shared in Marrakesh is a must see destination for any fashion lover.

Outside of the fashion world, Bergé was known as an outspoken, sometimes polarizing man with strong political opinions and a shrewd business sense. His love of theater and music led to his appointment as President of the Paris Opera in 1988, charged with overseeing the Palais Garnier, the Bastille and the Salle Favart. Bergé instantly ruffled feathers within the high society world of Parisian opera by replacing much of the staff he inherited, saying that controversy fills the seats. After a self confessed disappointing run at the helm, Bergé was replaced in 1993. In the same decade the ambitious Bergé was also the founding president of the French Fashion Institute and a founder of the Museum of Fashion Arts.
Although Saint Laurent passed away in 2008, Bergé has kept his personal memory alive for years. Clearly the label they both started has earned icon status, cemented in past, present and future fashion worlds, but the history of the men behind the brand will also live on in two museums Bergé was commissioning before he passed, one in Paris in the former haute couture house, and the other in their beloved Marrakesh. Both men can rest easy knowing that their legacy of style and fashion is everlasting.