|Born||(1930-11-14)14 November 1930|
|Died||8 September 2017(2017-09-08) (aged 86)|
|Spouse(s)||Madison Cox (m. 2017)|
|Partner(s)||Yves Saint Laurent|
Early life and education
His mother, Christiane, was a progressive teacher, who used the Montessori method.
His father worked for the tax office.
Bergé attended the Lycée Eugène Fromentin in La Rochelle, and, later, went to Paris.
Bergé also befriended and dated the young French artist Bernard Buffet, and helped facilitate Buffet's success.
Yves Saint Laurent
Main article: Yves Saint Laurent (designer)
Bergé met Yves Saint Laurent in 1958.
They became romantically involved and together launched Yves Saint Laurent Couture House in 1961.
The couple split amicably in 1976 and remained lifelong friends and business partners.
Bergé acted as CEO of Yves Saint Laurent Haute Couture until it closed in 2002.
Highly protective of and invested in the reputation and legacy of Saint Laurent Couture, Bergé was known as the "Dean of Yves Saint Laurent".
When Saint Laurent was diagnosed with brain cancer, Bergé and the doctor mutually decided that it would be better for him not to know of his impending death.
Bergé said, "I have the belief that Yves would not have been strong enough to accept that."
In 1992, Bergé sold shares of the fashion house just before the company released a poor economic report.
After the close of the Couture house, Bergé became president of the Pierre Bergé-Yves Saint Laurent Foundation.
During Bergé's eulogy of Saint Laurent, he reflected on their lifetime of memories, saying;
Philanthropic, cultural, and political interests
Bergé has been described as a social liberal and a political conservative.
He voted for Valéry Giscard d’Estaing in the 1970s.
In 1988, Bergé launched the French magazine Globe, which supported the candidacy of François Mitterrand for the presidential election.
Bergé participated in all the campaign rallies of François Mitterrand (contrary to 1981, when he did not vote for Mitterrand).
Bergé later served as President of the association of the friends of Institut François-Mitterrand.
In 1993, he helped to launch the magazine Globe Hebdo.
A longtime fan and patron of opera, Mitterrand appointed Bergé president of Opéra Bastille on 31 August 1988.
He retired from the post in 1994, becoming honorary president of the Paris National Opera.
He served as president of the Médiathèque Musicale Mahler, a non-profit library with extensive collections relating to 19th and 20th century music.
He was also one of the shareholders of Pink TV, before withdrawing.
Bergé's philanthropic patronages have included UNESCO.
In July 1992, Bergé was appointed a UNESCO Goodwill Ambassador.
In 2007, he supported the candidacy of Ségolène Royal.
On a more general basis, he has been considered to be her sponsor.
For example, after late 2008, when she was no longer heading the French socialist party and he was paying for the rental of her political office located between the French Senate and House of Representants until this arrangement ceased on 3 March 2011.
The art collection of Yves Saint Laurent and Bergé was put up for sale by the latter in February 2009, with two of twelve bronze statue heads looted from the Old Summer Palace in China during the Second Opium War among them.
When China requested the return of these statues, Bergé refused and declared “I am prepared to offer this bronze head to the Chinese straight away.
Bergé's self-admitted "political blackmail" was received with criticism in China.
After Chinese art collector, businessman, and advisor to the PRC's National Treasures Fund, Cai Mingchao placed the winning bid and refused to pay on "moral and patriotic grounds," Bergé decided to retain ownership of them.
Later on in a ceremony on 29 June 2013, François Pinault (CEO Kering) returned the artifacts to the Chinese National Museum, Beijing.
Bergé published a book, Lettres à Yves, in 2010 which was translated into English with the title, Yves Saint Laurent: A Morrocan Passion, in September 2014.
During the filming of Yves Saint Laurent in 2014, the Fondation Pierre Bergé — Yves Saint Laurent, which holds 7,000 vintage outfits from its archives, played an active role in providing authentic material and fashion of Saint Laurent.
In November 2009, Bergé claimed to be suffering from myopathy.
He triggered a controversy by accusing the Telethon of "parasitising the generosity of French people in a populist manner."
Accused above all of not using donations immediately and making real estate investments, the French Association against Myopathies (AFM), which organises the charitable program, denies Bergé's accusations.
Following the repeated attacks by the businessman, the AFM filed a complaint for defamation in February 2010.
On 28 June 2013, the 17th Chamber of the Paris Criminal Court sentenced him to a €1,500 fine.
On 16 March 2013, on Twitter, Bergé retweeted the following message: "If a bomb explodes on the Champs Elysees because of the "#laManifPourTous", I won't be the one crying."
This retweet triggered strong reactions because, according to the "Manif Pour Tous" organisation, it is an incitement to acts of terrorism.
On 21 June, he appeared on the TV show Le Petit Journal, and mentioned this episode, declaring that he was "non-violent".
During the debate on same-sex marriage, Bergé supported the idea of gestational surrogacy and controversially said "rent her womb for a child or lease her arms to work in a factory, what's the difference?
", provoking an outcry by same-sex marriage supporters who go against such positions.
On 26 September 2013, Bergé declared he was in favor of the removal of all Christian holidays in France.
In March 2016, Bergé expressed his position on "modest fashion" in an interview with French Radio Station Europe 1, saying, "I am scandalized.
Creators should have nothing to do with Islamic fashion.
Designers are there to make women more beautiful, to give them their freedom, not to collaborate with this dictatorship which imposes this abominable thing by which we hide women and make them live a hidden life...
In one way they are complicit, and all this to make money.
Principles should come before money."
Bergé's long time partner was Yves Saint Laurent.
In 2008, Bergé married Yves Saint Laurent.
On March 31, 2017, Bergé married Madison Cox, a landscape architect and gardener, in Paris, France.
Credits to the contents of this page go to the authors of the corresponding Wikipedia page: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pierre Bergé.