Yves Saint Laurent
After becoming an instant star, designing his first collection for Dior at the age of 21, couturier Yves Saint Laurent was laid off and, along with his business partner and lover Pierre Berge, started the new label in 1962. He spent the next 40 years revolutionizing fashion and his influence on the way women dress can still be seen today. Depression, drugs and alcohol plagued him throughout his career. He retired and closed the couture house in 2002, though he quit designing ready to wear in 1998, when he hired Alber Elbaz. He passed away in 2008 at the age of 71.