Would You Invest in This Man?

Welcome to Guest Blogger - Ingrid Mida Masak.
In all the research I did this week, I am left with a tremendous sense of respect for Yves Saint Laurent and his revolutionary fashion ideas and proven business success. There are many lessons to be learned from the career of this talented designer:

1. A degree is not required.
Yves only attended the prestigious Chambre Syndicale school of haute couture for three months before quitting. He emerged as a promising young designer by winning the first prize for a cocktail dress design in a contest sponsored by the International Wool Secretariat. He was only 17 years old when he was hired by Christian Dior.
2. Be innovative.
YSL was one of the first to use couture as a laboratory. Although many of his design innovations endure today, he was not without his share of flops. As I mentioned yesterday, his introduction of street fashion in 1962, ie., the leather jacket for women, was considered a failure and resulted in his dismissal from the house of Dior. As well, he included knickerbockers in his collections more than once. During an interview on France-Info radio, his business partner Pierre Berge said "Saint Laurent was a true creator, going beyond the aesthetic to make a social statement. In this sense he was a libertarian, an anarchist and he threw bombs at the legs of society. That's how he transformed society and that's how he transformed women."
3. Failure can be the path to something bigger and better than you ever imagined.
After YSL was dismissed from Dior and conscripted into military service, he was hospitalized for depression and subjected to such horrors as electroshock therapy. Enduring the public humiliation of being fired and the shame of being in a mental hospital did not mean the end of Saint Laurent's career. Without this break from the house of Dior, it is conceivable that he might never have enjoyed the success that he did.
4. Know your strengths and find a partner whose strengths compliments your weaknesses.
Yves Saint Laurent was a true artiste - creative, sensitive, and fragile. Undoubtedly it was his partner Pierre Berge who was the mastermind behind the business success of the house. In 1966, the house of YSL opened the first ready-to-wear Rive Gauche boutique by a couture designer on the Paris Left Bank. This move was instrumental in the development of the idealogical shift that fashion was no longer just for the rich.These lessons are applicable not only to the big business of fashion but to the business of life.

In writing this post, I myself have learned about taking risks and living your dream. Merci Monsieur Saint Laurent! --

Posted By Ingrid M. to The Passionate Fashionista at 6/06/2008 08:42:00 AM


Ingrid M. said...

Thank you for allowing me the privilege of being a guest blogger. I cringed a little when I saw my blog title so prominently displayed. Despite what it might appear, I am anything but a dilettante. I have a BA (Economics) and Masters of Accounting degrees. At one time, I held CA and CBV qualifications. Although I am now a freelance writer and artist (by choice), I still follow and write business stories as they relate to fashion on my blog http://thepassionatefashionista.blogspot.com.
How I wish I had chosen a more business like title for my own blog, but it is simply delightful to have the honour of a guest blog posting here. Thanks again!

J. B. Loewen said...

Ingird - thank you for sharing your creativity with us. Fashion may seem trivial but it has been with us since the stone age and gives us all so much joy. YSL got a state level funeral and brought more wealth to the French economy than most so fashion is a leading edge business and I am glad to have someone with your sensibility share your views. Join us again soon!