The legendary 6′ 6″ aristocratic Haute Couture designer HUBERT de GIVENCHY has died at aged 91 at the Renaissance chateau near Paris, where he and his husband designer PHILIPPE VENET had lived for decades.
Givenchy was the last of the old school of a small clique of talented groundbreaking designers that made Paris the fashion capital of the world in the 1950’s. He then went on to achieve worldwide fame when he started designing costumes for major Hollywood movies such as Breakfast at Tiffany’s after which its star Audrey Hepburn became his muse for years.
Givenchy had got his start from working for another fashion master, Cristóbal Balenciaga and when he broke out on his own he produced restrained designs of what admirers called an “extreme elegance” that became his trademark. Even before Hollywood beckoned he was already dressing wealthy and famous clients such as Princess Grace of Monaco and Wallis Simpson, the Duchess of Windsor.
He sold his business to the LMVH group in 1988 but Givenchy remained head of creative design for seven years. After that, the label had a whole roster valiantly trying to take his place from John Galliano, Alexander McQueen ,Julien Macdonald, and finally Riccardo Tisci from 2005 until 2017, and then the British designer Clare Waight Keller became head designer.
In the past few years there have been several retrospectives of his work including one last year Museum of Lace and Fashion in Calais last year, At the opening, Givenchy said: “I am happy because I did the job I dreamed of as a child.”
The world will never see the likes of Hubert de Givenchy again.
Count Hubert de Givenchy 20 February 1927 – 10 March 2018 (aged 91) R.I.P.