Hubert de Givenchy turns 83 today. He is such an interesting man.
He is the younger son of a french nobleman. At ten, he decided he wanted to work in fashion. In 1952, just weeks before is 25th birthdayhe opened his design house. He was the youngest designer of the progressive Paris fashion scene. His first collections were characterized by the use of men’s cotton shirting – a cheaper fabric, but they always piqued curiosity through their design. He later became such a good friend with Cristobal Balianciaga that when Cristobal retired, he referred his customers to Givenchy.
The two women most closely assiciated with Givenchy fashion are Audrey Hepburn and Jackie Kennedy. He designed the cream silk gown Mrs. Kennedy wore on their visit to France in 1961, and it was a Givenchy dress she wore as she attended her husband’s funeral in 1963.
He met an awkward teenager named Audrey Hepburn, in 1954, looking for dresses in her first movie Sabrina. They remained friends and he dressed her for 40 years.
He created the first line of ready to wear. LVHM bought his design house in 1988, then was pressured to retire. A side note, LVHM ignored Givenchy’s choice of replacement designers and hired John Galliano then Alexander McQueen, neither were good matches so they moved on. Riccardo Tisci is creating some wonderful designs at Givenchy, and I can’t wait to see what he shows in Paris. Today Hubert de Givenchy lives quietly outside Paris collecting art and antiques.
Here are shoes the House of Givenchy offers.
To celebrate I will put on my tiara, have coffee and a danish while I look at the Tiffany’s website.