It was, as they say, the suitcase or the coffin.”

May 9, 2019

Yves Saint Laurent was just starting to find his rhythm with his own fashion house in France when his family back in Algeria was forced to flee the country. In July of 1962, Algeria declared independence from France, and violent battles ensued in his hometown of Oran. Yves’ father drove through a mob on July 3, the day of the referendum, back to his family and immediately made the decision for them to leave.

‘It was, as they say, the suitcase or the coffin,’ remembers Yves’ sister Brigitte Bastian.” (Alicia Drake, The Beautiful Fall)

In such a situation, I wonder, what would I do? I certainly hope I would have the resolve to pick up everything and leave rather than delay action. But it’s never that easy to make a decision that you know for a fact is right.

Sometimes you have to put your back against the wall, burn the bridge back, and throw your return ticket out the window.