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Pinaults: PPR “forever indebted” to Yves Saint Laurent

François Pinault and his son François-Henri (pictured) have spoken of their "great emotion" on learning of the death of fashion guru Yves Saint Laurent yesterday. He was 71.

The Pinaults, billionaire family owners of France-based PPR Group, which acquired the YSL fashion house and brand in 1999, said that with his death "French fashion and indeed the world lose a genius."

The designer, who was the first to launch the modern concept of luxury women's prêt-à-porter in 1966, died at his home in Paris after a long illness. "Yves Saint Laurent leaves us with a heritage for which we are forever indebted to him," concluded the Pinaults. "The PPR Group and all who work at YSL are imprinted with the spirit of his creation and invention. Each individual therein will endeavour to stay faithful to the style and grandeur of his legacy."

Founded in 1961 after he left Christian Dior to go into business on his own, Yves Saint Laurent is one of the greatest fashion names of the 20th century renowned for democratising fashion. He once famously said: "I wish I had invented blue jeans ... they have expression, modesty, sex appeal, simplicity – all I hope for in my clothes."

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