Hubert de Givenchy, French fashion icon dies at 91

French fashion designer Hubert de Givenchy, who is known for styling Audrey Hepburn and Jackie Kennedy, died at the age of 91.

"Paris had been occupied by the Nazis and French fashion had been pretty much beaten in to the ground", said Valerie Steele, director and chief curator of the Fashion Institute of Technology Museum in NY.

But the client whose name would become nearly synonymous with the house was Hepburn, whom he met in 1953, when he dressed her for the romantic comedy "Sabrina". Givenchy described her as an fantastic human being.

Above, from top: Hubert de Givenchy, the founder of the Givenchy label.

With typical discretion, Givenchy made no comment, only that he had not been consulted about the appointments.

Audrey Hepburn in Breakfast at Tiffany's, wearing Givenchy. "Givenchy creates quality clothes which combine simplicity and beauty", the actress once said. She shone in dresses Givenvhy in such films as "Breakfast at Tiffany's" and "Funny face".

"The little black dress is the hardest thing to realize because you must keep it simple", Givenchy told The Independent in a 2010 interview.


Hubert de Givenchy was the noblest of French designers, known for his own personal elegance and impeccable manners. He credited Spanish designer Cristobal Balenciaga, his mentor, with inspiring this aesthetic. Givenchy was also the first designer to create his perfume line.In 1969, Givenchy created his first Men's line called "Givenchy Gentlemen".

In the 1960s, Givenchy went on to launch his own high-fashion line of clothing and accessories and sold it in 1988 to LVMH.

"Audrey's style came with a really different silhouette, really of the moment", Givenchy said of his muse, who he dressed right up to her death in 1993. It's the second time for six years that Givenchy has been awarded the "golden thimble" given after the haute couture fashion shows.

He was succeeded by a number of famed designers, including John Galliano, Alexander McQueen and Julien MacDonald.

Born in Beauvais, France, Givenchy worked under heavyweights like Christian Dior, Pierre Balmain, and Elsa Schiaparelli, making him equipped to debut his first haute couture collection in 1952.

More recent fans of the brand include Margot Robbie, Julia Roberts, Jessica Chastain, Rosamund Pike, Gal Gadot, Rooney Mara and the Kardashian clan.

  • Gwendolyn Kim