He launched its first women's perfume, Y in 1964. In 1971, the design house unveiled its Rive Gauche perfume; that same year, Jean Loup Sieff photographed Yves in the nude for the advertising campaign of his first men's cologne Pour Hommes. 1977 saw the launch of the very popular Opium perfume. Other YSL fragrance offerings include Baby Doll and Cinema perfumes and Young, Sexy Lovely or YSL, a play on the designer's initials.
Born 1936 in Oran, Algeria, he studied in Paris, graduating in modern languages, and was employed by Chritian Dior in 1955 after winning an International Wool Secretariat design competition. Saint Laurent became Haute Couture designer when Dior died in 1957. He introduced the trapeze dress in his first collection for Dior in 1958. Eventually, he opened his own couture house, financed by Pierre Berge, in 1962.
In 1985, Yves was awarded the Chevalier de la Legion d'Honneur by French president, Francois Mitterand. He also receives a fashion Oscar for Best Couturier. In the summer of 1996, he was the first couturier to show his Haute Couture show live on the Internet. Yves Saint Laurent is part of the Gucci Group.