French fashion designer Hubert de Givenchy dies aged 91


It's being reported that he passed away in his sleep over the weekend.

Born February 21, 1927, Givenchy founded the House of Givenchy in 1952.

But it was his 40-year friendship with his muse Hepburn, who he met on the set of the Billy Wilder's Oscar-winning comedy "Sabrina" in 1953, that helped make him a fashion legend. He went on to work with Robert Piguet and Lucien Lelong in 1946, and then for Elsa Schiaparelli between 1947 and 1951.

Couturier Jacques Fath hired Givenchy on the strength of his sketches.

French designer Hubert de Givenchy walk down the catwalk with one of his models, 28 January 1991 in Paris, after his Spring/Summer 1991 Haute Couture show.

Working on a tight budget, Givenchy served up the floor-length skirts and country chic blouses in raw white cotton materials normally reserved for fittings.

But the client whose name would become nearly synonymous with the house was Audrey Hepburn, whom he met in 1953, when he dressed her for the romantic comedy "Sabrina". Instead, the diminutive Audrey showed up, dressed in cigarette trousers, a T-shirt and sandals.

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The red coat she wore on the campaign trail for the 1960 presidential election was a Givenchy copy.

But his most famous client was Hepburn, who was said of him: "His are the only clothes in which I am myself".

In 1988 he sold it to luxury conglomerate LVMH and retired years later.

He even designed what is regarded as the most famous "little black dress" for her in the film Breakfast at Tiffany, though his Parisian rival Coco Chanel is credited with inventing the LBD.

"Not only was he one of the most influential fashion figures of our time, whose legacy still influences modern day dressing", wrote Givenchy artistic director Clare Waight Keller on his passing, "but he also was one of the chicest most charming men I have ever met".

According to The Squander, Givenchy's net worth at the time of his death was in excess of $100 million.

Givenchy is survived by his companion, French couturier Philippe Venet.

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