In 1977 Yves Saint Laurent caused an international scandal with the release of his fragrance, Opium. And what’s the best way to deal with a scandal? Throwing the party of the year!
YSL gave the fragrance the name Opium to signify seduction, passionate love, and to give the brand an exotic appeal. While the name caused international chaos, it spurred the perfume’s sales and popularity. In the perfume’s first nine months YSL racked up over $3 million in sales.
In honor of the release, Yves threw a glamorous party on board a ship in New York City’s East Harbor in 1978 and made sure the whole world watched. 800 of his closest friends boarded the ship Peking, docked at the South Street Seaport. Among the sea of faces were Cher, Truman Capote, Nan Kempner, Diana Vreeland, and Roy Halston Frowick. As for the no-shows, Andy Warhol was in California at the time, and admitted in his diaries that he regretted not being able to attend the “big, glamorous YSL Opium party.” Lucky for you we have all the pictures… So let’s party like it’s 1978:

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