The legendary designer Hubert de Givenchy, who was responsible for the iconic black dress sported by Audrey Hepburn’s character in Breakfast at Tiffany’s, died on Saturday, March 10, at the age of 91.
Long before Givenchy was a go-to red carpet fashion and beauty house for celebs like Kim Kardashian, Beyonce and Cate Blanchett, the French couturier and nobleman founded his eponymous label in postwar Paris to cater to well-to-do women. After showing his first collection in February 1952, Givenchy became a favorite of starlets and fashionistas around the globe.
He worked with Hepburn on nearly every film she was in — from her show-stopping red gown in Funny Face to the transcendent LBD in Breakfast at Tiffany’s — helping to cement her status as a style star. In interviews, Hepburn credited the designer for shaping her characters and career.
Givenchy’s craftsmanship and appreciation for the female form transcended Hollywood royalty. When First Lady Jackie Kennedy traveled to France with her husband, President John F. Kennedy, for an official state visit in June 1961, she tapped the designer to create a gown for her trip to Versailles. According to reports, the fashionable First Lady attended secret fittings with Givenchy to perfect the bespoke white satin gown with floral embroidery that made her an international fashion icon.
Though Givenchy sold the brand to luxury conglomerate LVMH in 1988 and officially retired from the house in 1995, his impeccable taste and attention to detail is felt in fashion to this day. On social media, industry vets like Kenneth Cole, Joe Zee and Stacy London have have been paying tribute to the late designer. Cole tweeted “RIP,” while Zee emphasized the importance of the relationship between Givenchy and Hepburn.
“The idea of designer and muse can be an overused idea in fashion but Hubert de Givenchy and Audrey Hepburn was one of true collaboration,” Zee shared on Twitter. “This weekend we lost another fashion genius. Heaven just got a little more stylish with these reunited fashion soulmates.”
London, meanwhile, called the designer’s talent “a gift.”
RIP, Monsieur Givenchy. What a gift your talent was to women.
— Stacy London (@stacylondon) March 12, 2018
Since Givenchy’s 1995 departure, modern-day designing heavyweights like John Galliano, Alexander McQueen and Riccardo Tisci have all had stints with the house, once again making it a favorite of Hollywood heavy hitters.
While pregnant with daughter North in 2013, Kardashian infamously wore a Givenchy by Riccardo Tisci floral gown and glove design to the Met Gala, and she once again turned to the label for her 2014 wedding to Kanye West.
Silver screen sirens like Blanchett and Julianne Moore are also fans of the brand’s feminine but fierce aesthetic, and it is safe to say Givenchy’s legacy will live on both on and off the red carpet.
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