Saint Laurent, 71, died on Sunday night at his Paris home after a yearlong battle with brain cancer, said Pierre Berge, Saint Laurent's close friend and business partner for four decades.

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.

He was known for his innovation, including his take on the previously male dominated Trouser suit for women, the ever popular and timeless safari jacket and the controversially named but widely loved perfume of the 70's - Opium.

Pierre Berge said on France info radio "Chanel gave women freedom," and Saint Laurent "gave them power, he was a "true creator" who went beyond the aesthetic to make a social statement".

Yves Saint Laurent 01/08/36 - 01/06/08 - Missed by many, forgotten by none.