The Legacy of Hubert de Givenchy

By: Betty Downs

"You must, if it's possible, be born with a kind of elegance. It's part of you, of yourself." - Hubert de Givenchy (1927-2018)

Hubert de Givenchy, the French fashion icon, passed away at the age of 91 in Paris on March 10th, 2018. It was his lifelong companion, Philippe Venet, who confirmed his death. This was the news that spread like wild fire and truly devastated fashion lover worldwide. Givenchy had an idea; an idea "that a woman could create her own style rather than slavishly follow what fashion dictates." His unique approach to fashion has left a mark on the industry, meaning nobody shall forget the pillar of romantic elegance that is Mr. Givenchy. 

Born in 1927, Hubert de Givenchy was just 25 years old when he founded the House of Givenchy. Prior to this, he had worked alongside Pierre Balmain and Christian Dior, who, at the time, were still unknown. Together, they worked on sketches for Robert Piguet and Lucien Lelong in 1946. 

"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

Givenchy was most well known for his work with Audrey Hepburn, Jackie Kennedy and Grace Kelly. He truly represented the golden age of elegance within fashion. While filming the romantic comedy Sabrina, Audrey Hepburn became Givenchy's must and marked the beginning of a lifelong friendship - one greater than that of just a designer and his must. Hepburn insisted hat he be in charge of the wardrobe for all her films, including Funny Face and Paris When it Sizzles

Hepburn referred to Givenchy as a "creator of personality." His most notable piece of work was the classic black dress featured in Breakfast at Tiffany's, which eventually became an essential in every woman's wardrobe. The timeless piece was sold in a charity auction for $923,187. In 1954, Audrey wore a custom white floral, belted dress created by Hubert de Givenchy to the Oscars, where she was nominated for and won the award for Best Actress. 

To Hubert de Givenchy, we thank you for being such an influential figure in the fashion industry. You saw beauty where no one else did, and made this world a more beautiful place. For more than half a century, you defined Parisian chic and romantic elegance. Your stunning designs and influence on the world of Haute Couture will continue to live on. Your artistry will leave a lasting effect on the world forever.