Count Hubert James Marcel Taffin de Givenchy was born on February 20, 1927. He was a French fashion designer who founded the house of Givenchy in 1952. Givenchy’s first designs were done for Jacques Fathin 1945.
Later he did designs for Robert Piguetand Lucien Lelong (1946) – working alongside the still-unknown Pierre Balmain and Christian Dior. From 1947 to 1951 he worked for the avantgardedesigner Elsa Schiaparelli. In 1952, he opened his own design house at the Plaine Monceau in Paris. Later, he named his first collection “Bettina Graziani” for Paris’s top model at the time. His style was marked by innovation, contrary to the more conservative designs by Dior.
At 25, he was the youngest designer of the progressive Paris fashion scene. His first collections were characterized by the use of rather cheap fabrics for financial reasons, but they always piqued curiosity through their design. Audrey Hepburn, later the most prominent proponent of Givenchy’s fashion, and Givenchy first met in 1953 during the shoot of Sabrina. He went on to design the black dress she wore in Breakfast at Tiffany’s.
He also developed his first perfume collection for her (L’Interdit and Le de Givenchy). Audrey Hepburn was the face of that fragrance. This was the first time a star was the face of a fragrance’s advertising campaign, and probably the last time that it was done for free, only by friendship. Givenchy retired from fashion design in 1995. His successor to head the Givenchy label was John Galliano. After a brief stint by Galliano, a five-year stay from Alexander McQueen and a term from 2001 to 2004 by Julien Macdonald, Givenchy women’s ready-to-wear and haute couture was then headed by Riccardo Tisci from 2005 until 2017.
Hubert de Givenchy died in his sleep at the Renaissance chateau near Paris on Saturday 10 March 2018. He was 91 and was buried in Passy Cemetery in Paris.