Hubert James Taffin de Givenchy was born In 1927 in Beauvais, France. Raised largely by his mother and maternal grandmother from whom he inherited his passion for fabrics. In 1944, at the age of 17, he moved to Paris and began school at Ecole des Beaux-Arts. The designer’s height ,6′ 6″, made an immediate impression on Paris, where he soon made a name for himself as a talent to watch.In 1952, he established his couture house, la Maison Givenchy,
1954, Givenchy became the first couturier to present
a luxury ready-to-wear line.He inherited his design philosophy of simplicity from his friend, idol and mentor, Cristóbal Balenciaga.
“Balenciaga was my religion,”
Givenchy first met his iconic muse, Audrey Hepburn, in 1953 which started their 40 year friendship. Givenchy went on to design the actress’ personal ensembles, as well as those made famous by her in timeless films such as Funny Face, Sabrina, and of course Breakfast
Loved by some of the most iconic stars of the 20th Century – from Grace Kelly, Elizabeth Taylor, Jackie Kennedy and Wallis Simpson, to his most famous muse Audrey Hepburn – Givenchy’s name and legacy have been synonymous with Parisian chic for more than 50 years. Givenchy sold his label in 1988, and retired seven years later, and stayed relatively out of the spotlight, commenting occasionally on fashion moments like the royal wedding.
1957 saw the launch of one of Givenchy’s most influential designs, the “sack” silhouette. Revolutionary for its time, the sack dress abandoned form and waistline, and in its place offered mystery surrounding the female body beneath. Givenchy also encouraged women to show more of their legs during the day with raised hemlines, and in this movement he became a predecessor of the one of the most influential decades in fashion, the Sixties.
1974 marked a milestone for the House of Givenchy, with the launch of the first men’s collection Gentleman Givenchy. The launch of the “Givenchy Gentleman” line would become a reference in men’s fashion.
Givenchy was succeeded by widely celebrated and innovative designers including Alexander McQueen, John Galliano, Julien Macdonald, and Riccardo Tisci.
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