The ashes of legendary gay fashion designer, Yves Saint Laurent, who died on 1 June in Paris from a brain tumour, have been scattered in Morocco.

Saint Laurent’s remains were scattered in the garden of his villa in Marrakech on Wednesday, said his business partner and former lover Pierre Berge. Around 80 people attended the ceremony.

“We scattered the ashes in the rose garden of his private home because he went there often over 30 years, and we have placed a pillar in his memory in the Majorelle garden, because Yves Saint Laurent and I, we gave it new life when it was supposed to be destroyed to build a hotel,” Berge told AFP.

The fashion icon was born in the then French colony of Algeria before he moved to France as a teenager. According to Berge, Saint Laurent continued to visit Africa, and especially Morocco, throughout his life.

It’s been said that his designs were often inspired by his experiences in Africa.

Earlier this month, in a media statement, South Africa’s Minister of Arts and Culture, Pallo Jordan, praised Laurent as an African.

“Perhaps more than any other fashion designer, (Saint) Laurent was able to put genius originating in Africa on the international stage when the recognition and affirmation of people of African descent was most needed,” Jordan said.

“… Yves Saint Laurent was, essentially, an African creative who took his rightful place in the global village. May his soul rest in peace!”

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