Published: Tue, March 13, 2018
Culture&Arts | By Hattie Nash

French fashion icon Givenchy dead at 91, reports say

French fashion icon Givenchy dead at 91, reports say

"[Givenchy was] one of the creators who put Paris at the summit of world fashion in the 1950s", said Bernard Arnault, head of LVMH. That includes the little black dress she wore in the opening of the 1961 romantic comedy "Breakfast at Tiffany's". On Monday, De Givenchy's Instagram page shared the news with its followers. "His enduring influence and his approach to style reverberates to this day", said the house in a statement.

An aristocrat and a towering talent who stood 6 feet 5 inches tall, Givenchy founded his fashion house in 1952 at age 24 to immediate success.

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"Farewell, Hubert de Givenchy, whose work with Audrey Hepburn defined the relationship between designer and muse, but who was also so much more", wrote New York Times fashion critic Vanessa Friedman on Twitter.

Givenchy sold his label, Givenchy Couture Group, to LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton in 1988 for $45 million after 36 years of running the company totally independently. He retired as the brand's chief designer in 1995, and was succeeded by John Galliano, the late Alexander McQueen, Julien Macdonald, Riccardo Tisci and most now Clare Waight Keller, the first woman in the role.

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Givenchy met Hepburn on the set of her movie Sabrina, having been asked to help create costumes for the film.

Today, his label continues to be relevant and innovative, remaining incredibly popular with celebrity fans including Beyoncé, Kanye West and Rihanna. The definition of a true gentleman, that will stay with me forever. Under designer Riccardo Tisci (who recently joined Burberry) it became a hit with the Kardashians and was credited with attracting the most social media "buzz" during Paris fashion week. Givenchy declined, citing a mid-collection workload, but gravitated toward Hepburn, "inspired by her youth, gamine look, and elegant spirit", according to the Fashion Institute of Technology Museum in NY.

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Givenchy served apprenticeships with other designers - Jacques Fath, Robert Piguet and the exuberant, iconoclastic Elsa Schiaparelli - before venturing out on his own.

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