Ourika Gardens Overview
A VIBRANT HERITAGE
“When I discovered Morocco, I understood that my own colour palette was that of zelliges, zouacs, djellabas and kaftans. The audacities that have since been mine, I owe them to this country, to the violence of the agreements, to the insolence of the mixtures, to the ardour of the inventions. This culture became mine, but I did not just import it, I annexed it, transformed it, adapted it.” Yves Saint Laurent.
Yves Saint Laurent discovered Morocco in 1966, at the age of 33. It was an aesthetic revelation: he fell in love with this light-bathed country, its vibrant colours and its way of life so different to the Parisian bustle. The effect was so powerful, the designer had a sudden and strong intuition that this country would be his refuge, his paradise found and an inexhaustible source of inspiration as it had been for the painters Delacroix and Matisse. To him, Morocco was more than a travel destination: after that first, initiatory trip and assisted by Pierre Bergé, he turned the sublime Majorelle Gardens into a haven of sheer happiness and purchased a house. It became his creative retreat – a place that inspired his innovative ideas and bold use of colour.
The love story between Yves Saint Laurent and Morocco continues to the Ourika Valley at the gates of the Atlas Mountains, some thirty kilometres from the buzz of Marrakech. What used to be a wasteland has been transformed into a botanical garden. In addition to creating job opportunities for a cooperative of women, these gardens allow YSL Beauté to observe and harvest some of the precious ingredients used in the YSL Beauté creation.
From lemon and olive trees to marigold, roses, irises and saffron, more than 40 botanicals species grow in the extraordinary YSL Beauté Ourika Gardens, inaugurated in early May 2019.
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