Hubert de Givenchy dies aged 91

 Hubert de Givenchy, founder of Givenchy has died aged 91. He passed away on Saturday 10th March 2018.

The company said in a statement:

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.

Head of LVMH, which now owns the Givenchy company, Bernard Arnault said “he was one of the creators who put Paris at the summit of world fashion in the 1950s.”

Count Hubert James Marcel Taffin de Givenchy was born in 1927 to an aristocratic and artistic family near Paris, the young count left home at the age of seventeen to study at the École des Beaux-Arts. Throughout the late forties and early fifties, he worked for some of fashion’s most revered trailblazers, including Jacques Fath, Robert Piguet, Lucien Lelong, Pierre Balmain, Christian Dior and Elsa Schiaparelli. 

Not long after setting up his own shop on the Plaine Monceau, Givenchy turned up on the set of Sabrina, believing that he would be dressing Katherine Hepburn. Waiting for him instead was the young star Audrey Hepburn. She became his lifelong muse and patron, catapulting him into the limelight when she wore his now-iconic black dress in Breakfast at Tiffany’s. 

In 1957, the House of Givenchy made its first foray into fragrance with the launch of L’Interdit. Created for Audrey, who also starred as its face, it is thought to be the very first celebrity-fronted fragrance ad campaign. Following its success, the firm launched Monsieur de Givenchy and Vetyver in 1959. Although widely acclaimed as the best vetiver of all time, the latter was a poor seller and kept in production only as the Count wore it personally.

Givenchy retired from his eponymous brand in 1995. Until his death, he lived in the castle Chateau du Jonchet where he collected 17th and 18th century bronze and marble sculpture. 

In the Winter of 2017, The House of Givenchy produced an exhibition entitled, “Hubert de Givenchy: To Audrey With Love”. It opened at the the Gemeentemuseum in The Hague before touring Switzerland and Calais in Spring 2017. 

Additional reporting by Laurin Taylor

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