Fashion Icon Hubert de Givenchy Dies at 91

Angelo Anderson
March 13, 2018

Hubert de Givenchy, founder of the iconic fashion brand best known for dressing some of Hollywood's most famous women, has died at the age of 91.

An aristocrat and a towering talent who stood 6 feet 5 inches tall, Givenchy founded his fashion house in 1952 at age 24 to immediate success.

The House of Givenchy on Monday called its late founder "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".

Besides the little black dress from the 1961 hit "Breakfast at Tiffany's", Hepburn wore Givenchy's designs in almost a dozen other movies, as well on the red carpet and also in real life. Givenchy was iconic for creating famous looks for Audrey Hepburn, Grace Kelly and Former US First Lady Jacqueline "Jackie" Kennedy.

Born in Beauvais, France, he was the son of Lucien Taffin de Givenchy and Beatrice Badin.

Couturier Jacques Fath hired Givenchy on the strength of his sketches.

Givenchy was instrumental in a generation of gentlemanly designers who established their couture houses in postwar Paris.

His debut collection ushered in the concept of separates - tops and bottoms that could be mixed and matched, as opposed to head-to-toe looks that were the norm among Paris couture purveyors.

Working on a tight budget, Givenchy served up the floor-length skirts and country chic blouses in raw white cotton materials normally reserved for fittings.

He made clothes which made women look and feel lovely, and seemingly, he affirmed them too by removing the pressure of trying to "fit into clothes" off and (arguably) creating clothes for the existing body instead. Hepburn was also the face of Givenchy's first fragrance L'Interdit. Instead, the diminutive Audrey showed up, dressed in cigarette trousers, a T-shirt and sandals.

"To dress a woman is to make her handsome", the late designer, who resigned in 1996, once said. In 1961 Hepburn and Givenchy created a moment in cinema that thousands of women with aspirations of unprecedented levels of glamour still hold dear to their hearts today.

Givenchy retired in 1995, and was succeeded by John Galliano, Alexander McQueen, Julien Macdonald, Italy's Riccardo Tisci and current chief designer Claire Waight Keller, the first woman to hold the post.

Givenchy set the template for ladylike chic in the 1950s and 1960s, and his restrained style still informs the way Britain's Queen Elizabeth II and older American and Chinese socialites dress.

The designer, who learnt his craft under Cristóbel Balenciaga, became a giant of the fashion world in every sense.

Other reports by Iphone Fresh

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