Fashion designer Hubert de Givenchy, a pioneer in high-end ready-to-wear clothing and famous for styling Audrey Hepburn’s little black dress in “Breakfast at Tiffany’s,” has died at the age of 91, the House of Givenchy confirmed on Monday via its official Twitter account.
“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. He will be greatly missed,” the company announced.
His longtime partner, former haute couture designer, Philippe Venet, revealed in a statement to AFP that Givenchy died in his sleep on Saturday.
Givenchy entered the world of fashion in 1944 at the age of 17, training under Parisian designer Jacques Fath.
Before long, he had moved on to designing for several major fashion houses including Robert Piguet, Lucien Lelong and Elsa Schiaparelli.
His first collection — which championed the concept of separates and featured flawlessly detailed embroidered pieces, chic silk prints and sophisticated ball gowns — immediately drew international recognition.
From the off, he blazed a trail of innovation in the industry starting with his “Bettina blouse,” named for popular French 1950s supermodel Bettina Graziani, which reintroduced tailored shirts into high fashion.
But Givenchy was perhaps best known for his decades-long friendship with his muse Audrey Hepburn, which blossomed while she was filming her 1954 hit “Sabrina.”
Givenchy continued to style her outfits for “Breakfast at Tiffany’s,” “Funny Face” and “How to Steal a Million” and their friendship would endure until Hepburn’s death from cancer in 1993.
During his illustrious career, Givenchy also styled the likes of Elizabeth Taylor and Princess Grace of Monaco.
Today, his label continues to be relevant and innovative, remaining incredibly popular with celebrity fans including Beyoncé, Kanye West and Rihanna. Beyoncé’s love of the fashion house’s style is well-known, with her having worn its creations to the last five Met Galas she attended between 2012 and 2016 (she didn’t attend the gala in 2017).