Pierre Bergé, the business and romantic partner of the late Yves Saint Laurent, has died. He was 86.
Bergé is said to have passed away in his sleep early Friday in Saint-Remy-de-Provence, France.
Keep reading for a full obit of this influential gay-rights activist and passionate collector ...
Pierre Bergé and Saint Laurent were together for decades, opening their haute couture house together in 1962 after Saint Laurent departed Christian Dior. They committed to each other in a civil union several days before Saint Laurent died of a brain tumor at 71 in 2008.
The L.A. Times referred to Bergé, a book and art collector, as “a cultural celebrity in France in his own right.” He headed up the Paris Opera, a theater and oversaw Saint Laurent museums and exhibitions. He was also a fierce gay-rights advocate who donated a large part of his massive fortune to AIDS research.
He was also a big booster of Emmuel Macron, who was elected president of France earlier this year.
A foundation in the couple's name — Fondation Pierre Bergé - Yves Saint Laurent — exists to memorialize the fashion Saint Laurent created and to turn memories of the work into positive projects, including conservation of 5,000 garments and 15,000 accessories; organizing exhibitions; and supporting other cultural and educational projects.