After visiting Marrakesh in 1966, Yves Saint Laurent famously proclaimed “Marrakesh taught me colour.” And the effect of the city on Saint Laurent’s work was so strong that the Algeria-born French couturier immediately proclaimed it his second home.
Along with his partner Pierre Bergé, Saint Laurent went on to buy multiple properties there—among them the decadent Jardin Majorelle, a beautiful botanical garden they purchased in 1980. Inaugurated in October 2017 and conveniently located only meters away from Majorelle, the Yves Saint Laurent Museum is located on Rue Yves Saint Laurent.
Designed by reputable architecture firm Studio KO, the building evokes the YSL spirit with a terracotta facade made of locally supplied Moroccan earth patterns made to resemble threads of fabric. The interior is stark in contrast, featuring smooth white walls that took inspiration from the immaculate lining of a couture jacket.
The space is the first fashion museum in Africa, and one of the largest of its kind in terms of scale and scope, housing a 400 square metre large permanent collection of the designer’s work.As well as 150 square metre temporary exhibition space that opened with 30 of orientalist painter Jacques Majorelle’s artworks. The museum also features a 130-seat auditorium named after Pierre Bergé that will be used for film screenings and performances.
Aside from garments, the museum will also display thousands of sketches and photos spanning the fashion house’s expansive history.
After perusing through the pieces, you can stop by Le Studio Café for a quick break, or visit the bookshop. And, if you’re into Arab and Andalusian literature, be sure to check out the research library which houses an astounding 5,000 books.