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Museum dedicated to fashion design icon YSL opens in Marrakech

Marrakech is now home to a new museum dedicated to the life and work of French fashion icon Yves Saint Laurent, who found inspiration in the Moroccan city. Located next to the famous Jardin Majorelle, which he saved from development in the 1980s, the museum contains thousands of YSL’s sketches, couture garments, prototypes and photos.

Museum dedicated to fashion design icon YSL opens in Marrakech

A new museum dedicated to feted French fashion designer Yves Saint Laurent has opened in the Moroccan city of Marrakech. Containing thousands of the designer’s sketches, photographs, garments and accessories, the museum showcases YSL’s legacy and connection to Marrakech, where he found inspiration throughout his working life.

Covering more than 4,000 square meters, the building features a permanent display of Yves Saint Laurent’s work staged by Christophe Martin, a space for temporary exhibitions, an auditorium, a research library, and a cafe and restaurant.

Founded by the Fondation Pierre Berge-Yves Saint Laurent, which aims to preserve the designer’s creative output, the museum can draw upon a huge collection of material for its exhibits thanks to YSL’s systematic archiving of his work.

The foundation’s archives comprise 5,000 haute couture garments and 15,000 accessories, as well as thousands of original sketches, collection boards, prototypes, photographs, and objects spanning the designer’s 40-year career from the creation of his couture house in 1961.

Fondation Pierre Berge-Yves Saint Laurent’s President, Pierre Berge said:

“When Yves Saint Laurent discovered Marrakech in 1966, he was so moved by the place that he decided to buy a house and regularly go back there. It feels perfectly natural, fifty years later, to build a museum dedicated to his oeuvre, which was so inspired by this country.”

Designed by French architects KO, the building is intended to reflect the curves of YSL’s work, as well as the signature rounded stone architecture of Morocco. It is located close to Jardin Majorelle, which has strong links with the fashion designer.

In the 1970s Saint Laurent and his partner Pierre Berge renovated a property connected to the Jardin Majorelle and saved the gardens from development in the 1980s. The house – Villa Oasis – which they painted bright blue, was later turned into a museum on Berber culture.

The street with the house on was renamed Rue Yves Saint Laurent in his honour and the place has become a major cultural sight in Marrakech, attracting nearly 700,000 visitors a year.

Another museum – Musee Yves Saint Laurent Paris – also dedicated to the work and life of YSL has opened in Paris at the same time. The new museum is housed in YSL’s former couture house and studios at 5 Avenue Marceau.

A new book, All About Yves, by Catherine Ormen has been published to coincide with the museum openings. 

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