French fashion designer, Hubert de Givenchy, the man who launched a thousand iconic looks, namely for the likes of Audrey Hepburn and Jackie Kennedy, has died aged 91.
Givenchy founded his namesake house in 1952 after working alongside Pierre Balmain and Christian Dior at the houses of Robert Piguet and Lucien Lelong. Closely followed by a two-year four-year stint working under Elsa Schiaparelli.
His name quickly reached iconic status, namely though his work with Audrey Hepburn. In the hands of Mr. Givenchy Hepburn was transformed into the iconic image we know today. The pair met whilst the actress was filming Sabrina and the designer went on to design the black dress Hepburn wore in Breakfast at Tiffany’s. Hepburn later became the face of this fragrance, L’Interdit without charging a fee – the first time such a deal had been struck – acting as a testament to the friendship.
After his first prêt-a-porter collection debuted in 1954 the designer’s client list boasted the greatest names of the mid century world including, Grace Kelly, Wallis Simpson and Marlene Dietrich. All fall for such iconic designs as his Balloon Coat and Baby Doll dresses, to name a few.
In the years that followed Mr. Givenchy introduced a menswear collection and after years of producing fashion than transcended into iconography, the designer retired from designing in 1995.
He was succeeded by John Galliano who was quickly replaced by Alexander McQueen who undertook a five-year tenure. Julien Macdonald followed and then Riccardo Tisci who transformed the fortunes of the house and reintroduced the brand’s huate couture collection. Clare Waight Keller took up the Givenchy gauntlet to become the first female creative director of the house in 2017.
The fashion world will mourn the loss of such an iconic designer but his images will live on in the popular imagination for much longer to come.