Hubert de Givenchy, Fashion Legend, Dies at 91

Hubert de Givenchy, who singlehandedly changed the world of fashion with his elegant designs, died on Saturday in Paris. He was 91 years old.

Givenchy's death was announced by the House of Givenchy early Monday.

"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 symbolized Parisian chic and elegance for more than half a century," the statement read. "His enduring influence and his approach to style reverberates to this day. He will be greatly missed."

His longtime partner, former haute couture designer Philippe Venet told the AFP that Givenchy died on Saturday.

Givenchy was best known for his iconic work with Audrey Hepburn. Their legendary collaboration began with Sabrina, the 1954 film she earned her Academy Award for. He later designed the array of colorful costumes for Funny Face (1957), which earned him an Oscar nomination and the little black dress Hepburn wore in Breakfast at Tiffany's (1961). Their other films together include Charade (1963), Paris - When It Sizzles (1964) and Love in the Afternoon (1957). Givenchy's friendship with Hepburn extended well beyond the movie set.

Givenchy's outfits also inspired First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy's look. When she visited Pairs in 1961, she made a grand entrance at the Palace of Versailles while wearing a white Givenchy dress.

He was just 17 when he started working in fashion, under the mentorship of designer Jacques Faith. After working with several other major fashion houses in Paris, he took a leap of faith by founding the House of Givenchy in 1952. He was only 25 years old.

In 1995, Givenchy retired, but his label continues to push boundaries and attract A-list celebrities. For example, Beyonce Knowles wore Givenchy dresses to every Met Gala she attended between 2012 and 2016.

The House of Givenchy is now owned by LVMH Group.

1comments

"I am deeply saddened by the death of Hubert de Givenchy. He was among those designers who placed Paris firmly at the heart of world fashion post 1950 while creating a unique personality for his own fashion label," LVMH CEO Bernard Arnault said in a statement to CNN. "In both prestigious long dresses and daywear, Hubert de Givenchy has brought together two rare qualities: to be innovative and timeless. I extend my most sincere condolences to his family and to all those who have known him."

Photo credit: Bertrand Rindoff Petroff/Getty Images