French fashion icon Givenchy dies at 91

Givenchy is survived by his partner Venet, his nieces and nephews, and their children.

French fashion icon Givenchy dies at 91

The fashion world is mourning a great loss, as French fashion designer Givenchy passed away last week at the age of 91, as reported by BBC. Count Hubert James Marcel Taffin de Givenchy, the French aristocrat who founded the House of Givenchy in 1952, died on Saturday. The family announced his demise via French news agency AFP on Monday.

“It is with huge sadness that we inform you that Hubert Taffin de Givenchy has died,” it said in a statement. The designer’s “nephews and nieces share Mr Venet’s grief,” it added.

French designer Hubert de Givenchy attends the ceremony where he will receive the condecoration 'Gran Cruz de Isabel La Catolica' at Viana Palace October 18, 2002 in Madrid, Spain. (Photo by Carlos Alvarez/Getty Images)
French designer Hubert de Givenchy attends the ceremony where he will receive the condecoration 'Gran Cruz de Isabel La Catolica' at Viana Palace October 18, 2002 in Madrid, Spain. (Photo by Carlos Alvarez/Getty Images)

His partner, the former haute couture designer Philippe Venet, announced his death at the Givenchy fashion house, declaring that he had died in his sleep on Saturday. The couple lived in a Renaissance chateau near Paris.

Givenchy set the field for ladylike chic in the 50s and 60s, and his restrained sense of style still portrays the way the Queen Elizabeth II and older American and Chinese socialites dress even now.

 Ira von Furstenberg and stylist Hubert de Givenchy attend the 2008 American Academy McKim Award ceremony at the Villa Aurelia on May 29 2008 in Rome Italy. (Photo by Franco Origlia/Getty Images)
 Ira von Furstenberg and stylist Hubert de Givenchy attend the 2008 American Academy McKim Award ceremony at the Villa Aurelia on May 29 2008 in Rome Italy. (Photo by Franco Origlia/Getty Images)

He was best known to the public as the creator of the film and personal wardrobes of his favorite and longtime muse, Audrey Hepburn, in movies like 'Breakfast at Tiffany’s' and 'Funny Face.' The actress was also reportedly his inspiration for his first perfume, L’Interdit.

His streamlined and timeless designs appealed to a massive swathe of prominent women, including Princess Grace of Monaco, Bunny Mellon, the Duchess of Windsor, Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis, Babe Paley, Gloria Guinness, Jane Fonda, Sao Schlumberger and Deeda Blair, etc.

Portrait of Belgian-born actress Audrey Hepburn (1929 - 1993) and French fashion designer Hubert De Givenchy, mid 1980s. (Photo by Hulton Archive/Getty Images)
Portrait of Belgian-born actress Audrey Hepburn (1929 - 1993) and French fashion designer Hubert De Givenchy, mid 1980s. (Photo by Hulton Archive/Getty Images)

“Mine is one of the most beautiful professions in fashion: making others happy with an idea,” the couturier said last year at the opening of the “Hubert de Givenchy” exhibition at the Museum of Lace and Fashion in Calais.

“I am happy because I did the job I dreamt of as a child,” he said at a press conference, where he offered recollections about his professional and personal relationships with some of his prominent clients, as well as the lifelong object of his admiration and respect, Cristóbal Balenciaga.

French designer Hubert de Givenchy receives a sash and award known as the condecoration 'Gran Cruz de Isabel La Catolica' from Spanish Foreign Affairs Minister Ana Palacio at Viana Palace October 18, 2002 in Madrid, Spain. (Photo by Carlos Alvarez/Getty Images)
French designer Hubert de Givenchy receives a sash and award known as the condecoration 'Gran Cruz de Isabel La Catolica' from Spanish Foreign Affairs Minister Ana Palacio at Viana Palace October 18, 2002 in Madrid, Spain. (Photo by Carlos Alvarez/Getty Images)

Givenchy sold his fashion label, Givenchy Couture Group, to LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton in the year 1988 for $45 million, after 36 years of independent work. However, despite the sale, he remained to be the head of creative design for seven years before permanently retiring in 1995.

In the years to follow, the fashion house saw a number of different designers like John Galliano, Alexander McQueen, and Julien McDonald. But it was only after Riccardo Tisci took over the label in 2005, that the label was once again put on the design map. With the help of his daring, Goth-tinged fashions during a stellar 12-year tenure, Tisci gave the brand its prominence in the fashion world that it enjoys now.

(L to R) Designers Oscar de la Renta, Hubert Givenchy and Philipe Venet attend the 22nd annual Golden Needle Awards 2002 June 24, 2002 at Hotel Santo Mauro in Madrid, Spain. (Photo by Carlos Alvarez/Getty Images)
(L to R) Designers Oscar de la Renta, Hubert Givenchy and Philipe Venet attend the 22nd annual Golden Needle Awards 2002 June 24, 2002 at Hotel Santo Mauro in Madrid, Spain. (Photo by Carlos Alvarez/Getty Images)

After Tisci’s departure in 2017, Clare Waight became the brand’s first female artistic director. She has referenced the fashion label's graphic designs with black-and-white advertising campaigns and mined a heterosexual territory with both masculine and feminine fashion shows.

Givenchy is survived by his partner Venet, his nieces and nephews, and their children. His family plans to hold a private funeral in his honor and requested that instead of flowers, donations be made to human rights organization Unicef in his name.

British model Iman and Hubert de Givenchy arrive at the Moulin de Mougins restaurant to attend an annual AIDS benefit during the 55th annual Cannes Film Festival May 23, 2002 in Mougins, south eastern France. The event will benefit the American Foundation for AIDS Research (amfAR). (Photo by Pascal Le Segretain/Getty Images)
British model Iman and Hubert de Givenchy arrive at the Moulin de Mougins restaurant to attend an annual AIDS benefit during the 55th annual Cannes Film Festival May 23, 2002 in Mougins, south eastern France. The event will benefit the American Foundation for AIDS Research (amfAR). (Photo by Pascal Le Segretain/Getty Images)

As soon as the news of his death hit the stands, fans and followers of the fashion giant gathered on social media to mourn their loss.



 





 



 



 

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