Breaking news: Yves Saint Laurent dies, aged 71

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yvessaintlaurent_dies.jpgThe fashion world has awoken today to the sad news that it has lost one of its most beloved designers. Yves Saint Laurent passed away Sunday evening after a long undisclosed illness, aged 71.

The French icon had been battling ill health for some time, and was hospitalised last July with acute respiratory difficulties. According to WWD, he had been bedridden recently, and died at his home yesterday in Paris.

Hailed a legend for getting women into pantsuits, Laurent made a name for himself when he took over the reins at Christian Dior in 1957. He quickly rose to equal his peers Coco Chanel, Cristobal Balenciaga and Karl Lagerfeld, and in 1962 he launched his own fashion house. It was during this time that he unveiled his most memorable creation the YSL Le Smoking suit.

Throughout his career, he suffered bouts of depression and drug abuse which impacted his business. However, together with his partner Pierre Berge, they launched the first ready-to-wear label, Rive Gauche collection.

Laurent retired in 2002, at the time he told WWD: “I always served women and I did it without compromise until the end, with respect and love.”