Yves Saint Laurent was catapulted from obscurity when, after submitting some sketches to a competition and being hired by Christian Dior, he was named as Head Designer of the House of Christian Dior at the tender age of 21 in 1957. His first collection in 1958, a reinterpretation of the iconic New Look was a huge hut and arguably saved the once prestigious company form financial ruin. After being conscripted into the Algerian army, the eponymous brand Yves Saint Laurent YSL was started in 1960. Until this point, couture was the only type of clothing that was revered, but YSL's dedication to ready to wear ranges was the first time that high fashion was truly democratised. The 60s were a very successful time for Saint Laurent with the popular Mondrian collection and the scandalous reinvention of the classic men's tuxedo for women, dubbed infamously, Le Smoking. Several veteran designers have been at the helm of the brand after the death of its founder including Tom Ford, Stefano Pilati and Hedi Slimane who in 2012, re-branded the fashion house as Saint Laurent Paris. In summer 2015 it was announced that the couture line would be revived after an absence of thirteen years, and it seems that the Saint Laurent brand will be reigning over the fashion kingdom for many years yet.
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