Fashion legend Hubert de Givenchy dies, aged 91

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Fashion legend Hubert de Givenchy dies, aged 91

"The House of Givenchy is sad to report the passing of its founder Hubert de Givenchy, a major personality of the world of French Haute Couture and a gentleman who symbolized Parisian chic and elegance for more than half a century". Mr Givenchy as confirmed by his longtime partner and companion Philippe Venet, died in his sleep in their home near Paris.

In addition to the Paris fashion house and boutiques in at least eight countries, LVMH also took ownership of 178 Givenchy licenses for perfumes, clothing, and interior decoration. He and his ilk typically designed with specific women in mind and were known for their delicate, very feminine creations.

His first collection - unveiled in 1952 - won recognition the day it was presented: Givenchy rang up 7 million francs (approximately 1 million euros) of orders, enough to allow him to pay off his backers and assume ownership himself.

"He revolutionised worldwide fashion in creating the timeless looks for Audrey Hepburn, his friend and muse for more than 40 years".

That encounter marked the start of a decades-long friendship that saw Givenchy dress the star in almost a dozen films, making her the brand's de facto ambassador and forever linking the two together. It inspired generations of young women dreaming of a glamorous life in New York City and still resonates today.

Actually, back in 2006, that exact dress was sold at a Christie's auction in London for $923,187. Givenchy was the creator of many of Hepburn's most iconic looks that include the "little black dress" that was worn in the opening scene of "Breakfast at Tiffany's". The French designer also branched into menswear and soon after into furnishing fabrics.

"He dedicated"“L'Interdit", his second of four perfumes, to Hepburn, and in 1988, when the state of California presented him with a Lifetime Achievement Award, she presided at the ceremony.

"When I first went to Hubert in 1953, I was still in homemade dresses", she told Vogue in an interview. Givenchy would later share an unusual bond with his idol, Spanish couturier Cristóbal Balenciaga. His most celebrated, perhaps, was Audrey Hepburn-their friendship lasted for 40 years. The two produced many memorable designs over the course of their professional relationship, including the chemise and the sack dress. In 1995, he retired from fashion but remained active as an antiques expert for Christie's, the Louvre museum and Versailles. You've probably already spared five minutes over your morning coffee to muse over the French couturier's legacy of elegance and the women he dressed, so consider this more of an ode to the way Givenchy democratised fashion rather than a mere biography.

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