Yves Saint Laurent Collapses in Paris

Yves Saint Laurent Collapses in Paris
Yves Saint Laurent
Fame

10/06/2006 AT 12:00 PM EDT

Yves Saint Laurent, one of the last of France's post-war fashion giants and a designing influence for four decades, collapsed in a Paris street on Friday.

"Yves collapsed suddenly and without warning," an eyewitness tells PEOPLE. "It was nasty fall. Medics arrived very quickly and he was rushed away for treatment. We are just hoping that he is going to be all right."

Saint Laurent is fine, according to a spokesman for Foundation Yves St. Laurent, who tells PEOPLE that the designer checked out of the hospital and is home recuperating from the fall.

"Monsieur Yves Saint Laurent is very well, very very well. He slipped in the street. It was a hard fall but just a simple, common, ordinary accident that could happen to anyone," says the spokesman.

Saint Laurent, 70, fell in Avenue Montaigne, close to the Champs-Elysees.

Since 2002, there have been widespread reports of Saint-Laurent's ill-health, peppered with anecdotes about alcohol and drug abuse, depression and even the closure of his once fabled couture house – though the YSL brand still continues today through the parent company of Gucci.

Laurent, who was born in Algeria when it was a French colony, left home at the age of 17 to work for the designer Christian Dior before setting up his own label.

YSL was not only a label, however – it was a revolution. Catering to jet-setters and socialites including Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis and Catherine Deneuve, Saint Laurent pioneered styles that trickled down, through his less expensive ready-to-wear line as well as knockoffs, into every female closet: pantsuits and peasant blouses, safari jackets and see-through shirts.

Any woman who has ever stood tall in a power suit has Saint Laurent to thank. As designer Diane Von Furstenberg, a friend and client, told PEOPLE in 2002: "His influence in fashion will never die."

The label's show on Thursday night – attended by Katie Holmes and Victoria Beckham – was considered a highlight of this year's Paris Fashion Week.

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