PARIS – Instagram was flooded with tributes and comments on Friday following the death of Pierre Bergé, Yves Saint Laurent’s former business partner, at the age of 86.
“Merci Pierre,” wrote Anthony Vaccarello, who took over as creative director of the Yves Saint Laurent brand in 2016. Bergé, who founded the house with the late couturier, was supportive of Vaccarello, in stark contrast with his criticism of predecessors such as Tom Ford and Stefano Pilati.
The house also put up an official tribute between two blank posts. “With immense sadness we have learned of the passing of Monsieur Pierre Bergé, Founder with Yves Saint Laurent of the Maison. We share the grief of his friends and family and all those who loved him. Thank you Pierre Bergé. You will be missed,” it said.
Alber Elbaz was the first designer to succeed Saint Laurent as head of ready-to-wear at his label. “He was a great teacher and a friend. What a beautiful legacy you leave behind, Mr. Berger…You will be truly missed by All 🌹🌹🌹💙❤️ #truelegend #renaissanceman #patronofartandculture #philanthropist #alberandamigos #pierreberger,” he wrote.
Stéphane Ashpool, the founder of streetwear label Pigalle Paris, said Bergé gave him advice after Pigalle in 2015 won the ANDAM Fashion Award founded by the entrepreneur.
“Wanna pay homage to the legend Pierre Berge for giving energy & hope to France. We met two years ago at the Andam fashion award then properly on a TV show for Canal+. From this day he gave me precious time, told me extraordinary stories and shared amazing advice.
“‘Don’t change, people might not want to understand your vision Stephane but you’re going in the perfect direction’ or ‘Relevant fashion is to be precisely aligned with your time and the street’ and when we were speaking about high couture that I secretly love, his word was hard.. ‘Couture is a glamorous lifestyle that doesn’t exist anymore, why continue to act like it’s here.’ Feel lucky that I could experiment his knowledge face to face, thanks for all you did Pierre,” he wrote.
Alexandre Mathiussi, founder of the men’s wear label AMI, was another ANDAM winner, though he said his first encounter with Bergé came years earlier, when he was just 20, during a chance encounter on the street with Bergé and Saint Laurent.
“The history of these two men has always fascinated me. Then in time, it also impressed me. Bowled me over,” he wrote. “Bon voyage Pierre. With all my Friendship.”
“Today I lost a friend. Adieu Pierre,” Jalil Lespert, the actor-turned-director who helmed the 2014 biopic with Bergé’s blessing, stated simply.
“Jusqu’au bout de la nuit …Endless conversation 💕” Nathalie Rykiel captioned a picture of Bergé with her mother, the late designer Sonia Rykiel.
“Au revoir Monsieur Pierre,” wrote model Estelle Lefebure.
Farida Khelfa noted a page of fashion history had turned forever, alongside a picture of Saint Laurent and Bergé with the couturier’s muse Loulou de la Falaise, who died in 2011.