PARIS (AP) Yves Saint Laurent, one of the most influential and enduring designers of the 20th century, empowered women by reinventing pants as a sleek, elegant staple of the female wardrobe. Saint Laurent, 71, died Sunday night at his Paris home after a yearlong battle with brain cancer, said Pierre Berge, Saint Laurent's close friend and business partner for four decades. "Chanel gave women freedom," and Saint Laurent "gave them power," Berge said on France-Info radio. He called Saint Laurent a "true creator" who went beyond the aesthetic to make a social statement. "In this sense, he was a libertarian, an anarchist and he threw bombs at the legs of society," he said. "That's how he transformed society and that's how he transformed women." The Gucci Group, which acquired the Yves Saint Laurent fashion house in 1999, said the designer's death "leaves a great emptiness but also a sublime inheritance." more at: http://ap.google.com/article/ALeqM5hxE4j3tcXJ0X7tcHvmfLbGP0bc6AD9121NJ85 VERY sad!!!