Pierre Bergé, a French businessman, long-time business partner and life partner of legendary designer Yves Saint Laurent, passed away on Friday at the age of 86 after battling with myopathy.
The Yves Saint Laurent empire may not bear his name but it owes much of its commercial sucess to Bergé, who co-founded the maison with Saint Laurent in 1961. Born in Oléron (an island off the Atlantic coast of France) in 1930, Bergé first met the then-budding designer in Paris in 1948. Together, the two went into business and revolutionised the fashion scene – thanks to Saint Laurent's renegade designs and Bergé's business acumen. The couple split in 1976 but remained amicable business partners until the sale of the fashion house in the 1990s. Saint Laurent succumbed to brain cancer in 2008 and since then, Bergé has been a fierce guardian of the designer's legacy.