Pierre Bergé
Photo: Getty

Yves Saint Laurent co-founder Pierre Bergé has died after a long illness, aged 86. The businessman and philanthropist passed away in his sleep this morning in his Paris home.

“It is with immense sadness that the Fondation Pierre Bergé – Yves Saint Laurent, Paris and the Fondation Jardin Majorelle, Marrakech announce the death of their founding president Pierre Bergé, which occurred on September 8, 2017, at 5.39 am, at home in Saint-Rémy-de-Provence. He died in his sleep at the age of 86 following a long illness,” read a statement today.

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Pierre Bergé
Pierre Berge and Yves Saint Laurent in 1998. Photo: Getty

Bergé met Saint Laurent in 1958 and they started dating. In 1961, they launched the iconic fashion house together. Although their romantic relationship ended in 1976, Bergé remained by the designer’s side until he died of a brain tumour in 2008.

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In addition to his work in fashion, he also became known as philanthropist, becoming a vocal and active campaigner for gay rights and AIDS research. In 2015, he was awarded one of France’s highest accolades – the Grand Officier of the Ordre national de la Légion d’Honneur.

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“He was a magician who made his life and those who he loved a symphony of happiness,” former French culture minister Jack Lang said today. “Pierre Bergé was above all a marvellous and loyal friend, who was there to take on all the good fights, the noble causes, in particular to provide the means for research to defeat AIDS.”

From: Harper’s BAZAAR UK