The legacy left by Yves Saint Laurent would never have come to pass without the designer’s unwavering passion for Marrakech. Celebrated for his use of flamboyant colors and his famous Saharan collection influenced by Moroccan artisans, Yves Saint Laurent once stated that, “while discovering Morocco, I understood that my own color range was that of the zelliges (mosaics), the zouacs (Berber decor), djellabas (traditional Moroccan outer robe) and the caftans. This boldness that I absorbed, I owe to this country, to the violence of harmony, to the insolence of the mixtures, to the ardor of inventions. This culture became my own, but I was not satisfied with importing it, I transformed and adapted it.”
It was in 1967 that Yves Saint Laurent first encountered the ochre city where he would live for the next 40 years. If Oran, the city where he was born, gave him a glimpse of lost paradise, it was Marrakech that renewed the designer's light and inspiration. For Yves Saint Laurent, Marrakech was a retreat, a place of festive and artistic encounters where he would become a citizen and connoisseur of the culture and the arts.
In 1980, Yves Saint Laurent and Pierre Bergé purchased the famous Majorelle Gardens, first created by painter Jacques Majorelle, whose villa is known for the particular blue color of its walls. “For years, I have found in the Majorelle gardens an inexhaustible source of inspiration and I often dream of its unique colors,” the designer once said.