The fashion designer Hubert de Givenchy has died at 91.
The French aristocrat, whose full name was Count Hubert James Marcel Taffin de Givenchy, was one of the best known fashion names of the twentieth century.
“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 symbolised Parisian chic and elegance for more than half a century,” a spokesperson for Givenchy said this afternoon. “He will be greatly missed.”
His most famous client was undoubtedly the actress Audrey Hepburn. She wore his designs to accept her Academy award for Roman Holiday in 1953. He not only designed her red carpet ensembles, he was also responsible for her wardrobe on set. He designed her costumes for Sabrina and Breakfast At Tiffany’s, he was responsible for the now iconic short black dress worn by Hepburn’s character Holly Golightly.
“It was a kind of marriage,” Givenchy told The Telegraph of his relationship with the actress in 2015. Although, he worked with other actresses, no other relationship came close to the one between him and Hepburn.
“Little by little, our friendship grew and with it a confidence in each other,” he said. “There [was never] any criticism of the other person, no upsets.”
In 1988, Givenchy sold his company to LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton for $45 million, although he remained as creative director until his retirement in 1995.
In an interview in 2015 with The Independent, Givenchy said of the way fashion has evolved in the past 70 years “I have an enormous interest in everything, but I am just sad about fashion now because the epoch is sad.”
Givenchy was perhaps the last living legend, and his legacy in fashion will forever be remembered and his designs will continue to inspire other designers. But Givenchy can rest well knowing his legacy is safe in the hands of Waight Keller.