Hubert de Givenchy, haute couture fashion designer famous for his “little black dress” which Audrey Hepburn wore in “Breakfast at Tiffany’s,” has died at the age of 91 has died at the age of 91 in his sleep.
The former designer and Givenchy’s longtime partner, Philippe Venet, announced through the Givenchy fashion house that Hubert de Givenchy had died at 91 in his sleep on Saturday.
Artistic Director of Givenchy Clare Waight Keller has confirmed the death of the couturier, characterizing him not only as “one of the most influential fashion figures of our time,” but also as “one of the chicest most charming men” she has ever met.
Givenchy was born in 1927 in the French city of Beauvais. After the liberation of France from the Nazi occupation, he moved to Paris, where he studied at the School of Fine Arts and worked as an assistant to various fashion designers. He founded his fashion house in 1952 and presented his first fashion collection in Paris at the age of 24. The collection immediately won recognition, with Givenchy getting about 1 million euro of orders.
The designer became one of the first in the fashion world to offer a luxury ready-to-wear range. Among his famous clients were Liz Taylor and Princess Grace of Monaco. It was also Givenchy who styled former US first lady Jacqueline Kennedy.
Givenchy became famous for dressing Audrey Hepburn for the films she was starring at, including the iconic “Breakfast at Tiffany.” The actress and fashion designer were close friends for forty years, and this relationship changed both fashion and cinema. Hepburn joked that she was dependent on Givenchy, “like the American people depend on their psychoanalysts.”
In 1988, Givenchy sold his fashion house to luxury conglomerate LVMH. In 1995, the fashion designer announced his retirement.
Bernard Arnault, CEO of LVMH, said in a statement that Givenchy “was among those designers who placed Paris firmly at the heart of world fashion post 1950 while creating a unique personality for his own fashion label.”