But he also struggled with the pressure of fame and suffered from alcohol and drug addiction. Friends say he found peace and seclusion in the gardens, often retreating there after stressful fashion shows.
The designer was born and raised in the then French colony of Algeria and found something familiar in Marrakesh when he and Berge arrived there in the late 1960s.
inspired some of the daring in Saint Laurent's creations -- orange with purple, pink with red -- that earned him a reputation as the designer with the best color sense of the 20th century.
"I remember we used to drive up to the mountains near Marrakesh," said long-time Marrakesh resident Bill Willis, a close friend of Saint Laurent who designed his villa.
"We would see Berber peasant women carrying their bundles of firewood who wore the most wonderful color combinations -- he inspired himself a lot from that."
The city's peasant lifestyle amid opulent town houses also helped inspire Saint Laurent's ethnic look that became popular with hippies.At the height of the free-wheeling 1960s, he and Berge would entertain friends at their Marrakesh palace, including Saint Laurent's muse Loulou de la Falaise and Talitha Getty -- the fashionable wife of -- who died of a heroin overdose in 1971