Yves Saint Laurent Dead at Age 71

French designer shocked fashion world in 1960s and 70s
By Wesley Oliver,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 1, 2008 6:23 PM CDT
A portrait of Yves Saint Laurent in his Paris office in 1964.   (Magnum Photos)
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(Newser) – Twentieth-century fashion icon Yves Saint Laurent died today at his home in Paris, AFP reports. The reclusive designer, who was battling illness, said when he retired in 2002 that he had “always given the highest importance of all to respect for this craft, which is not exactly an art, but which needs an artist to exist.”

Saint Laurent was born in Algeria. After moving to Paris, he led Christian Dior’s business but returned home in 1960 to help the French colony win its independence. Excused from service, he moved back to Paris and later founded a fashion house that fueled most international trends, the AP reports. Saint Laurent was 71.