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The Yves Saint Laurent Museum in Marrakech: Celebrating Fashion and Legacy

Introduction to The Yves Saint Laurent Museum

Situated in the vibrant city of Marrakech, near the renowned Jardin Majorelle, the Yves Saint Laurent Museum stands as a monument to the life and work of one of fashion’s most iconic designers. Opened in 2017, the museum is dedicated to Yves Saint Laurent’s profound connection to Marrakech, a city that captured his heart and inspired much of his work. This museum not only showcases his revolutionary designs but also serves as a cultural hub, celebrating the intersection of fashion, art, and Moroccan heritage.

Architectural Marvel

Designed by Studio KO, an architectural firm led by Olivier Marty and Karl Fournier, the Yves Saint Laurent Museum itself is a work of art. The building’s exterior is a visual narrative, reflecting the weft and warp of fabric, while its interior is a cavern of velvety darkness that mimics the lining of a luxurious couture jacket. Covering over 4,000 square meters, the space includes a permanent exhibition hall dedicated to Saint Laurent’s work, a temporary exhibition hall, a research library, an auditorium, and a cafe with a terrace.

The Permanent Exhibition

The heart of the Yves Saint Laurent Museum is its permanent exhibition, which holds a vast collection of clothing, accessories, sketches, and photographs from the designer’s 40-year career. Curated by Christophe Martin, the exhibition displays many of Saint Laurent’s pioneering designs, including the tuxedo jacket for women, the safari jacket, and the Mondrian dress. Each piece is presented in a manner that highlights its artistry and the designer’s innovative approach to gender and fashion.

Yves Saint Laurent and Marrakech

Yves Saint Laurent first visited Marrakech in the 1960s, and the city had an immediate and profound impact on him. The colors, textures, and light of Marrakech profoundly influenced his aesthetic and approach to design. The Yves Saint Laurent museum captures this influence, displaying garments that echo the vibrant colors and intricate patterns found in Moroccan art and architecture. The connection between Saint Laurent’s work and his love for Marrakech is a central theme of the museum, illustrating how the city served as a source of inspiration and refuge for the designer.

Temporary Exhibitions and Cultural Programs

Beyond the permanent collections, the Yves Saint Laurent Museum hosts temporary exhibitions that explore various facets of fashion, art, and design. These exhibitions often feature works by contemporary artists and designers, both Moroccan and international, creating a dialogue between Saint Laurent’s legacy and current artistic expressions. The museum also offers a diverse range of cultural programs, including film screenings, lectures, and performances, making it a dynamic hub for cultural exchange and education.

The Research Library

For those interested in fashion history, costume design, or textile arts, the museum’s research library offers an invaluable resource. The library houses over 5,000 volumes on fashion, fine arts, Arab-Andalusian history, Moroccan culture, and more, available to researchers and the public. This aspect of the museum underscores its role as an educational institution, committed to nurturing and sharing knowledge.

The Auditorium and Educational Outreach

The museum’s auditorium is another cornerstone of its educational mission, hosting conferences, symposia, and workshops that delve into various topics related to fashion and design. These events are often free to the public, providing access to a broader audience and fostering an appreciation for the arts within the community.

Café and Terrace

After exploring the exhibitions, visitors can relax at the museum’s café, which offers a menu of Franco-Moroccan cuisine. The café’s terrace, overlooking the serene landscape of Jardin Majorelle, provides a perfect spot to reflect on the aesthetic and cultural journeys the museum provokes.

Visiting the Museum

The Yves Saint Laurent Museum is located a short walk from Jardin Majorelle, making it easy to visit both landmarks in a single trip. The museum is open every day except Wednesdays, and tickets can be purchased for the museum alone or in a combined offer with Jardin Majorelle.


The Yves Saint Laurent Museum is more than just a tribute to a fashion icon; it is a celebration of the deep connections between creativity, culture, and identity. It not only chronicles the life and work of Yves Saint Laurent but also continues his legacy of inspiration, beauty, and cultural synthesis. For anyone visiting Marrakech, the museum offers a unique insight into the world of fashion through the lens of one of its greatest innovators, making it a must-visit destination for fashion lovers and cultural enthusiasts alike.

Additional Resources

For visitors interested in further exploring the impact of Yves Saint Laurent on Marrakech, a trip to Jardin Majorelle is highly recommended. This beautiful garden, restored by Saint Laurent and Pierre Bergé, is another testament to the designer’s love for the city and his commitment to its cultural preservation. Together, the garden and the museum create a profound narrative of artistic and personal passion.

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