Pierre Bergé on Yves Saint Laurent’s Treasures


In February, Yves Saint Laurent’s longtime partner Pierre Bergé will hold an auction at Christie’s of the objects that filled the couple’s duplex in Paris. Vanity Fair offers a visual tour.

Bergé, who joined with the designer in a civil union known as a “civil pact of solidarity” in France a few days before he died, said this of the collection:

“For a month, Yves had cancer and I had plenty of time to think. I decided to sell everything because the collection doesn’t exist if he doesn’t exist. After Yves’s death, to conserve the collection makes no sense. It will go away just like that. We all would very much like to attend our own funeral; of course, we can’t. But we can attend the funeral of a collection. It’s the end. It’s over. Economically, it’s impossible to do again. At my age, you don’t start a new collection, or buy wine too young, or plant small trees. In life we have to share—money, culture, everything. I love that idea. I’m very happy to have made with Yves one of the greatest collections of the century. In a few years, I will be very pleased to see at an exhibition the label ‘Provenance Yves Saint Laurent and Pierre Bergé.’ In time people will tell one another, ‘You really should know about these two guys, who lived in the 20th century in Paris.’ I don’t believe in God. I only believe in human beings, in memory. That’s all. The memory will persist.”


  1. Ugh says

    I can appreciate some of his sentiments, but could that statement have been any more self-aggrandizing? We get it, you are LEGENDS#@!#!#…the heroic memory of which will be passed generation to generation for eons. Or, you know…you just made some CLOTHES. Either/or.

  2. Martin says

    I always had the impression that Yves was an unhappy person. But I always admired him and his ideas for more than 30 years…
    He was certainly one of the grandest designers of all time.

    Berge’s thoughts are very beautiful and I hope the rare, strange, beautiful, expensive collection of heavenly trash goes to charity – that would be really wonderful and really show grand personality and character.

  3. Bading says

    What’s not mentioned in this post is that most of the proceeds (projected at 400 million) will go to charity with half of it going to AIDS-related causes. So let the man be self-aggrandizing, he has earned the right to be.

  4. michael says

    One fab pack rat , damn he had some good stuff ! but he earned it & deserved it all homage to Yves . his partner is doing the right thing enhancing a legend. i am sure this is only a small piece of his life
    material things move on
    bless him for donating to charity

  5. Bitch says

    It’s interesting though that they only paxed just before Yves died. Hmmm. Monsieur Berge certainly has a gift for timing. I hope the very attractive and gifted man who was Yves’ companion for his last years also reaps some of the rewards.

  6. DKNATL says

    Stereotyping gay men as having to live in a museum.
    The entire apartment just screams “man of a certain age” and I think YSL was in that category long before his actual age.
    Brillant designer, but not someone I would have related to as a gay man.

  7. Tony N SF says

    DKNATL — I get what you say about the apartment. But what in the world do you mean by “stereotyping gay men as having to live in a museum?” I’ve never heard that stereotype. I’ve heard of rich STRAIGHT couples “living on” in a museum through their donations. But, this is a first — a gay couple “living” in a museum.

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