Associated Press
Yves Saint Laurent

Yves Saint Laurent, the designer who reworked the rules of fashion by putting women into elegant pantsuits that came to define how modern women dressed, died Sunday. He was 71.

Longtime friend and associate Pierre Berge said Saint Laurent died at his Paris home after a long illness.

A towering figure of 20th-century fashion, Saint Laurent was widely considered the last of a generation that included Christian Dior and Coco Chanel and made Paris the fashion capital of the world, with the Rive Gauche, or Left Bank, as its elegant headquarters.

In the fast-changing world of haute couture, Saint Laurent was hailed as the most influential and enduring designer of his time. From the first YSL tuxedo and his trim pantsuits to see-through blouses, safari jackets and glamorous gowns, Saint Laurent created instant classics that remain stylish decades later.