The Passing of Hubert de Givenchy

Hubert de Givenchy, founder of the French fashion house Givenchy, sadly passed away on Saturday 10th March, aged 91.

The French haute couturier died in his sleep at the Renaissance chateau near Paris that he shared with his partner and fellow designer Philippe Venet. "It is with huge sadness that we inform you that Hubert Taffin de Givenchy has died," he said.

Givenchy came from an aristocratic background and learnt the ways of fashion from Pierre Balmain and Christian Dior after World War II. Producing restrained designs with surgical precision that become the designer’s trademark, Givenchy’s creations were eagerly sought after by the 1950s and 1960s most affluent shoppers; including the likes of Princess Grace of Monaco and the Duchess of Windsor.

The 6ft 6” designer was a fashion giant in every sense however he was perhaps most famous for his illustrious ‘little black dress’ worn by Audrey Hepburn in the opening scene of Breakfast at Tiffany’s. The infamous actress once commented on the designer saying, "It was... an enormous help to know that I looked the part... Then the rest wasn't so tough anymore. Givenchy's lovely simple clothes [gave me] the feeling of being whoever I played..."

Calling himself the ‘eternal apprentice’, Givenchy was known for always seeking new inspiration and ideas, telling his friends in 1995 after stepping down as Creative Director of his namesake brand, “I’ve stopped making frocks, but not making discoveries. Life is like a book; one has to know when to turn the page.”

As we loose a fashion icon, Hubert de Givenchy paved the way with his timeless designs and will continue to act as an inspiration for the designers of today and tomorrow.