Fashion First, Business After: Pierre Bergé, the world’s biggest fashion businessman

While Yves Saint Laurent was deeply occupied with the creation of his iconic garments, businessman Pierre Bergé was by his side, managing and realising the financial sustainability of the couture and RTW houses of Yves Saint Laurent Couture, and later, ready-to-wear. A lifelong partner, both in romance, business and friendship, he has dedicated his life to the legacy of one of the biggest fashion designers of the 20th century. He pushed the limits of womenswear with his appropriation of the male tuxedo, and radically merged art and fashion in many iconic pieces: broadly, he pioneered a postmodern strategy in fashion, one which dominates much of fashion design today. As a new exhibition at the Bowes Museum opens to celebrate this precocious talent, Mr. Bergé held an exclusive Q&A session to a selected few in the magnificent halls of this 17th century-style French Château on the North English countryside. Here, he shares some invaluable reflections on the development of the fashion industry, its changing strategies, thematic occupations, and the eternal question of art versus commerce.