Gunter Sachs: Life as Art

Today, Gunter Sachs would have turned 90. We look back at the life of the playboy - because it was anything but ordinary. Even by high-society standards, because rarely has one seen such a bon vivant who was also so erudite. Four facts and anecdotes about the co-founder of the Saint-Tropez hype.
Text Alfred Rzyski
Photo Getty Images

The great-grandson of Opel:

Did Gunter Sachs ever own an Opel himself? We don't know, and we're going to cast some doubt on that. In the 1960s of the economic miracle, Sachs was sure that the helicopter was the accessory for the man and woman of the world on the Cote d'Azur. But thinking on a large scale obviously ran in the family: his great-grandfather Adam Opel also accelerated vehicles with rockets.

The mathematician & athlete:

A millionaire heir who loves Saint-Tropez and lives his life to the fullest? One could quickly condemn Sachs - but one would be doing him an injustice. After all, he studied mathematics and economics - and finished his studies. In Stuttgart, on the other hand, he trained as a precision mechanic at Bosch. Oh yes - he was also a bobsleigh pilot in his youth. And then there was art, photography and film.

The art collector and photographer:

Versatile, more versatile, Gunter Sachs: this is how the life of the Swiss by choice could be summed up in three words. In addition to his academic career and his cosmopolitan playboy life, he also impressed with his understanding of art and his creativity: friendships with Andy Warhol, Roy Lichtenstein and Jean Fautrier bear witness to this. That Warhol and Lichtenstein also decorated his flat in St.Moritz? That goes without saying. But Sachs himself was also bursting with creativity and was considered a renowned photographer and filmmaker. He was showered with praise and prizes for his 1970 winter sports film "Happening in White".

The Playboy:

What else is there to say about someone who was married to Brigitte Bardot for three years? Not much. We'll try anyway: he met people and especially women at eye level and with class, celebrated parties that lasted 72 hours in his best days, and elevated St. Tropez to a mecca for the upper class. Casual, but elegant. His style? Unmistakable, like himself: He was often seen with an open blue shirt, combined with white trousers - and barefoot, of course.


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