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Yves Saint Laurent co-founder Pierre Bergé dies

Yves Saint Laurent co-founder Pierre Bergé has died at 86 years old at his country home in southern France following a long illness.

The French businessman and art patron was the life and business partner of Yves Saint Laurent, who died in 2008 at the age of 71. They formed the famous fashion house in 1961. The two married in a civil ceremony in the final year of Saint Laurent’s life.

“I will always remember him as a man instilled with a fertile tension between avant-gardism and the will to work relentlessly to inscribe creation in history,” said chairman/CEO François-Henri Pinault of Kering, which now owns the Yves Saint Laurent brand.

“From the outset, he wished to preserve all the archives of Yves Saint Laurent’s work, an inestimable patrimony that will soon be made available for the public the world over to see in exceptional museums.

“This man who has just left us was a great cultural figure, and a man with convictions he fought tirelessly to uphold. Pierre Bergé was at the same time a visionary precursor, a great patron, a creative and passionate businessman and a defender of noble and universal causes. He was a tireless patron of young creation, notably through the Andam Association (Association Nationale des Arts de la Mode) he had created. He was also a generous patron of heritage.”

LVMH chairman/CEO Bernard Arnault says Bergé’s vast cultural knowledge and refined taste made him a great pioneer. “He made a considerable contribution to France’s spotlight in the world, both by the maison he founded and directed, as well as the cultural institutions he presided over.”

This story first appeared on sister site Inside Retail Asia.

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