By Lara Walsh
Updated Sep 08, 2017 @ 8:00 am

It's officially the end of an era.

On Friday, in the midst of New York Fashion Week, the style set took a moment to mourn the news that iconic Yves Saint Laurent co-founder Pierre Bergé passed away at the age of 86 after battling myopathy, a neuromuscular disorder. A press release from the Pierre Bergé-Yves Saint Laurent Foundation confirmed that the business vanguard died in his sleep while at home in Saint-Rémy-de-Provence.

The forward-thinking star will be remembered for famously saying, "I instantly recognized his genius," when meeting Yves Saint Laurent in 1958. From there, the former House of Dior designer launched a fashion empire in 1961 with the help of Bergé, who worked as his manager and oversaw the couture brand's successful transformation into a ready-to-wear powerhouse.

The master businessman enjoyed a romantic relationship with Saint Laurent before calling things off in the '80s, but still went on to helm the fashion label until 2002.

In his post-YSL years, Bergé took his creative interests to the Paris opera and married his longtime partner, landscape architect Madison Cox, in March 2017. And most recently, he worked on two museums dedicated to Yves Saint Laurent, which will open next month in Paris and Marrakech.