PARIS: The French fashion tycoon Pierre Berge—the business brains behind the Yves Saint Laurent empire—has died aged 86, his foundation said Friday. Berge, the longtime partner of the late designer Yves Saint Laurent, died in his sleep early Friday at his country home at Saint-Remy-de-Provence in southern France, the foundation said. A passionate bibliophile and art collector, he was also a tireless campaigner for gay rights and donated a large part of his fortune to AIDS research. Politically engaged to the end, he was an important backer and confidant of French president Francois Mitterrand, and this year threw his weight behind Emmanuel Macron’s successful campaign for the Elysee Palace. Berge and Saint Laurent were joined in a civil union a few days before the designer died of a brain tumor in 2008 aged 71. Two museums dedicated to the life and work of Saint Laurent, financed by the foundation the two men founded, are to open in Paris and Morocco this year.