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  • Writer's pictureAndre Amir

Hubert de Givenchy passed away at 91

Updated: Aug 1, 2018

Hubert de Givenchy. Photo: John Chillingworth/Getty Images

The French fashion icon, Hubert de Givenchy dies at the age of 91.

Yesterday, his longtime partner, the former haute couture designer Philippe Venet, announced his death through the Givenchy fashion house, saying he had died in his sleep on Saturday, 10 March 2018.

The designer was most known for his iconic dresses, like the Little Black Dress worn by Audrey Hepburn in Breakfast at Tiffany's.

Born 1927 with an aristocratic background in Beauvaise France, the designer has worked alongside Pierre Balmain and Christian Dior, and was employed by Elsa Schiaparelli.

He later found his own fashion house, The House of Givenchy in 1952.

Hubert de Givenchy, 1960 in his studio. Photo:, via

It was then, Givenchy met Audrey Hepburn (Ms. Hepburn was his muse and friend for more than 40 years). There onwards, he continued to dress some iconic figures like Grace Kelly, Jacquelin Kennedy and Greta Garbo.

Audrey Hepburn in her famous little black dress from “Breakfast at Tiffany’s” in 1961. Photo: Rex, Shutterstock

In 1957, the New York Times recognized Givenchy as the creator of Paris fashion, praise awarded only to Christian Dior, Coco Chanel and Cristobal Balenciaga, whose prestigious company he had joined after only five short years after opening his business. (i)

Givenchy branched out into menswear in 1969, and a year later, he began designing furnishing fabrics for hotel interiors and even a Ford Continental car.

He was also one of the first clothes designer to create his own fragrance.

In 1988, he sold his fashion house to the luxury brand LVMH, and a few years later he retired to a life of comfortable discretion.

A series of world-famous designers have held the creative reins at the fashion house since its founder retired in 1995.

Givenchy was forced to retire in October 1995 when his contract was not renewed by the giant LVMH group which had bought his house nearly eight years before. (ii)

John Galliano was the first to be his successor, followed by Alexander McQueen, and - from 2005 - Italian designer Riccardo Tisci (whom recently was reported to be heading for Burberry), introduced a more subversive aesthetic.

In March 2017, Clare Waight Keller became the first woman to be named the brand's artistic director.

Check out the full Givenchy Autumn/Winter 2018 via

The information above were gathered from the following articles:

BBC NEWS, Hubert de Givenchy, French fashion icon, dies aged 91

Yahoo! News, 'Little black dress' designer Givenchy dies aged 91

Business of Fashion, Hubert de Givenchy Has Died at 91

The Art of Dress, Born on this day in fashion history: Hubert de Givenchy

Footwear News, Audrey Hepburn’s Little Black Dress With Kitten Heels in ‘Breakfast at Tiffany’s’ Is More Iconic Than Ever

(i) Françoise Giroud, “Backstage at Paris Fashion Drama,” The New York Times, January 27, 1957

(ii) Agence France Presses, AFP, 'Little black dress' designer Givenchy dies aged 91, March 12, 2018

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