"His are the only clothes in which I am myself. He is far more than a couturier, he is a creator of personality.” -Audrey Hepburn on Hubert de Givenchy
Hubert de Givenchy is one of the most influential names in fashion. Now in his 80’s, Givenchy has a long history as a couturier and his fashion house has launched the careers of many well known designers from John Galliano, to Alexander McQueen, to current designer Riccardo Tisci. He started designing from the age of ten and was inspired greatly by Elsa Schiaparelli. He launched his first line in 1952 at the age of 25 after perfecting his craft working for Lucien Lelong, Piguet, Jacques Fath, and Schiaparelli. His debut line included shirts, skirts, and separates. The first stand out piece was the cotton Bettina Blouse named after model Bettina Graziani. The piece came in many iterations throughout his career. He was heavily influenced and mentored by Cristobal Balenciaga. He adopted Balenciaga’s innovative sack dress and expanded on the design with his own interpretations of the silhouette.
Givenchy is most associated with his muse, Audrey Hepburn. The two formed an artistic relationship early on and Givenchy is credited with taking Audrey Hepburn from girl next door to Hollywood royalty with his designs. Her iconic black dress in Breakfast at Tiffany’s inspired countless other dresses since. Givenchy’s timeless Parisian chic style still feels fresh today.
Hubert de Givenchy remained head designer of his fashion house until his retirement in 1995 when the brand was purchased by LVMH. Galliano succeeded him and added edge and excitement to the sophisticated Givenchy name. Since then Givenchy has remained in the forefront of fashion and is thought of as the pinnacle of French fashion.