Hubert de Givenchy, Iconic French couturier for celebrities including Audrey Hepburn, dies at 91
French fashion designer Hubert de Givenchy, an aristocrat who founded the house of Givenchy in the 1950s, and became famous for dressing the likes of Audrey Hepburn, Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis and Grace Kelly, has died at the age of 91, the Givenchy label has said.
The House of Givenchy is sad to report the passing of its founder Hubert de Givenchy, a major personality of the world of French Haute Couture and a gentleman who symbolized Parisian chic and elegance for more than half a century. He will be greatly missed.
A commanding presence in fashion from the moment he presented his first collection in Paris at the age of 24, Givenchy became synonymous with elegance and an insouciant glamour.
He designed the black dress Audrey Hepburn wore in Breakfast at Tiffany’s.
The house of Givenchy paid homage to its founder in a statement as, “a major personality of the world of French haute couture and a gentleman who symbolised Parisian chic and elegance for more than half a century”.
“He revolutionised international fashion with the timelessly stylish looks he created for Audrey Hepburn, his great friend and muse for over 40 years,” the house of Givenchy said.
“His work remains as relevant today as it was then.”
Claire Waight Keller, who has been at the helm of the brand since last year, said on her official Instagram account she was “deeply saddened by the loss of a great man and artist I have had the honour to meet”.
“Not only was he one of the most influential fashion figures of our time, whose legacy still influences modern day dressing, but he also was one of the chicest most charming men I have ever met,” she wrote.
Bernard Arnault, CEO of LVMH, said he was “deeply saddened” by Givenchy’s death.
Other celebrities and fashion icons tweeted their farewells.
‘Heaven just got a little more stylish’
Givenchy was born into an aristocratic family in the provincial city of Beauvais on February 21, 1927.
The young Givenchy initially studied law but, in the atmosphere of liberation following World War II, he entered the Ecole des Beaux-Arts in Paris.
A towering man with impeccable manners, he forged close friendships with his famous clients, among them Liz Taylor, Jackie Kennedy and Princess Grace of Monaco.
He was part of the elite cadre of Paris-based designers, including Christian Dior and Yves Saint Laurent, who redefined fashion.
Givenchy founded his label in 1952, selling it to luxury conglomerate LVMH in 1988.
He retired several years later.
The idea of designer and muse can be an overused idea in fashion but Hubert de Givenchy and Audrey Hepburn was one of true collaboration. This weekend we lost another fashion genius. Heaven just got a little more stylish with these reunited fashion soulmates. RIP MR GIVENCHY
His hallmark creations, including balloon-sleeved blouses and calf-length trousers with flared hems, were hailed in their time as airy alternatives to the tight waists and artificial curves of the then-dominant “New Look” of Christian Dior.
As well as Breakfast at Tiffany’s, Givenchy clothed Hepburn in Sabrina, Funny Girl, Charade, How to Steal a Million and Bloodline.
He dedicated L’Interdit, his second of four perfumes, to Hepburn, and in 1988, when the state of California presented him with a Lifetime Achievement Award, she presided at the ceremony.
RIP Hubert de Givenchy. A true cuturier. “The eternal apprentice” as he liked to call himself. He believed in beauty and he left us a more beautiful world. He dressed stars and created fashion icons like Audrey Hepburn. I hope you can now reunite with your teacher Balenciaga.
Givenchy branched out into menswear soon after opening his fashion house, and in 1970 he began designing furnishing fabrics.
He also designed interiors for several hotels as well as a limited edition of Ford Continental cars.
Even today, Givenchy remains a star-studded brand and favourite on Hollywood runways, fashion magazines and Kardashian Instagram posts.