Yves Saint Laurent’s Legacy lives on with new Museum in Marrakech


Saudi Gazette

The much awaited Yves Saint Laurent’s new museum in Marrakech opened its doors to the public on October 19. Located at the former fashion house of Yves Saint Laurent at 5 Avenue Marceau, the $17 million Musée Yves Saint Laurent Marrakech was designed by Studio KO, an architectural firm established by Olivier Marty and Karl Fournier. The museum is an ode to the legendary designer who fell deeply in love with Marrakech and ended up buying a beautiful cobalt blue villa as his vacation home in 1966. “We immediately fell in love with the city, the people, this country. We were so enamored that at the end of our stay, in the plane taking us home, we already had a binding sales agreement in our hands for the house we would purchase in the medina. It’s when our passion for Morocco began,” Yves Saint Laurent famously said.

Over the years, him and Marrakech built an exquisite relationship and solidified their love for each other in the process. They inspired each other and created a new association that will be cherished by history.

While everyone in the fashion and art world looked forward to this ethereal concept in the making over the years, the truth is you can’t enter the Musee Yves Saint Laurent without feeling nostalgic and overwhelmed by the departure of Yves Saint Laurent and his comrade Pierre Berge wondering how they would have felt on its completion. The museum speaks volumes about his work but also rounds you up in a spiritual experience taking you back to YSL’s life, the one he lead in his home next door.

“When Yves Saint Laurent first discovered Marrakech in 1966, he was so moved by the city that he immediately decided to buy a house here, and returned regularly. It feels perfectly natural, fifty years later, to build a museum dedicated to his oeuvre, which was so inspired this country,” Pierre Bergé, said earlier this year. Berge passed away on September 8 last month but was reportedly able to see the museum in its final stage.

The abstract and mysterious museum walls harmoniously blend with the Red City. The interiors have a life of their own and inhabit the velvet and smooth textures of couture while playing with light and darkness in spaces. Thr ground is made from shards of Moroccon marble and stone. The contrasts, dialogue between art, light, curved lines and Matisse are articulated in this architectural wonder.

Spread over 4,000 square meters, the museum is dedicated to Yves Saint Laurent‘s life, with a 400-square-meter permanent exhibition space designed by Christophe Martin showcasing YSL collections. It also has a dedicated research library with over 6,000 volumes, a gift shop with classic vintage postcards, posters and books for YSL fans. With a 150-seat auditorium showcasing fashion reels and intimate moments with Yves Saint Laurent, the museum has a terrace café and a temporary exhibition space with the first one dedicated to painter Jacques Majorelle, situated next to the museum. The museum has a room devoted to photography, showcasing French actress Catherine Deneuve dressed in YSL and shot by German fashion photographer Andre Rau in 1992.

Madison Cox, President of the Jardin Majorelle Foundation, Marrakech and Foundation Pierre Bergé, Yves Saint Laurent, Paris, said: “This museum that bears his name places Yves Saint Laurent in a historical context, yet is anchored in the present and looks towards the future, promoting an interdisciplinary culture that is as universal and vibrant as the couturier’s legacy.”

YSL embodied the soul of the city and was known for casually strolling around town in a jalabiya, where he left a part of his soul which now has a new meaning and a permanent home at the Musée Yves Saint Laurent Marrakech.

Royal Mansour has launched a special YSL Package to celebrate the official opening of the YSL Museum, which includes a 2 night stay in a Superior Riad, a dinner at La Grande Table Marocaine and complimentary access to Jardin Majorelle and the YSL museum. For those who want to extend the experience and discover more about the famous designer, a guided visit of the Villa Oasis (Pierre Bergé and YSL’s private house) and guided tour of the museum can be also organized for a donation of 24 000 MAD for the benefit of the Foundation YSL.

Website museeyslmarrakech.com