Memories should be transformed into projects, and that is what we have done with this foundation. 2017 marks a new chapter with the opening of two Yves Saint Laurent museums in Paris and Marrakech.
— Pierre Bergé, Yves Saint Laurent’s life partner
On October 19th, a museum dedicated to the legendary French fashion designer will open its doors in Marrakech, the city that deeply influenced his life and work. Yves Saint Laurent and Pierre Bergé discovered the Ochre City for the first time in 1966 and never left. In an instant, they fell in love with its full-of-life ambiance, warm colours, dazzling lights and mesmerizing scents.
The love story began long ago. In 1980, the famous couple bought the Villa Oasis, adjoining the neglected Jardin Majorelle. They were so enthralled by the stunning beauty and peaceful atmosphere of the garden that they could not accept its imminent destruction. They saved it from the bulldozers and successfully turned these ruins into one of the most visited attractions in Morocco, with over 700 000 visitors a year.
Although years have gone by, the idyll between the French couple and the Ochre City continues. The famous designer's ashes are now resting in Jardin Majorelle and next door, the Yves Saint Laurent museum will open this autumn. The 4000 m2building, co-created by in-vogue French architects, was designed as a tribute to Marrakech sandy colours.
A living space where art, fashion and culture meet
This place will be more than a simple museum honouring Yves Saint Laurent. It is designed as a multifunctional venue where art, fashion and a global cultural heritage will be revived and shared with the public.
In a permanent exhibition, 5,000 magnificent items of clothing, 15,000 sumptuous haute couture accessories as well as tens of thousands of sketches and assorted objects will be displayed.
The museum will promote diverse temporary exhibitions and a library with books from Arabic and Andalusian poetry to fashion, art or local Arab and Berber culture. Moreover, there will be a café-restaurant with a lovely terrace and a spacious auditorium for conferences, concerts and film screenings, making it the perfect place to spend an enriching time.
This museum brings a new highlight to the Marrakech creative scene and to the traveller's experience in the Ochre City.
A vivid cultural immersion in the Ochre City
Imagine yourself in Marrakech at this moment, admiring brilliant colours as Yves Saint Laurent did long ago. First, picture yourself waking up in a charming riad (Moroccan traditional house). After an early breakfast of mint tea and warm honey crepes, take a horse carriage to the Gueliz district and stop before the legendary Jardin Majorelle. Time will fly as you walk in the garden's shaded alleys. As you end your walk, visiting the Berber museum located in the back is a must to learn about their millenary culture.
At the concept store 33 rue Majorelle, opposite of the garden’s entrance, you can look for modern crafts designed by more than 50 talented artists. After shopping for these fashionable souvenirs, take a seat in the shades on the delightful terrace of the newly opened YSL museum.
Explore the museum’s pleasant galleries and learn about the life of the talented French designer. His creations were always a mix of haute couture elegance and creative thinking. You will be able to fully grasp the influence of the Marrakech city on Yves Saint Lauren's work.
Observe the mix of cultures widespread in his innovative fashion designs inspired by the bold and warm colors of traditional Moroccan garments, such as djellabas and kaftans. Feel the spirit of his unconventional and intriguing character unveiling his avant-garde, daring and vibrant collections.
Yves Saint Laurent’s love affair with Marrakech started in 1966 and thanks to the museum in his glory, his soul will live on forever in the Ochre City.