In his own words, Saint Laurent said he felt "fashion was not only supposed to make women beautiful, but to reassure them, to give them confidence, to allow them to come to terms with themselves".
When he bowed out of fashion in 2002, Saint Laurent spoke of his battles with depression, drugs and loneliness, although he gave no indication that those problems were directly tied to his decision to stop working.
"I've known fear and terrible solitude," he said. "Tranquilizers and drugs, those phoney friends. The prison of depression and hospitals. I've emerged from all this, dazzled but sober."