Hubert de Givenchy
Hubert de Givenchy
Givenchy in 1972
Hubert James Marcel Taffin de Givenchy
20 February 1927
|Died||10 March 2018 (aged 91)|
|Education||École des Beaux-Arts|
|Known for||Little black dress|
|Relatives||James de Givenchy (nephew)|
|Awards||Chevalier de la Légion d'honneur (1983)|
Medal of l'Ordre des Arts et des Lettres (1992)
Count Hubert James Marcel Taffin de Givenchy (pronounced [ybɛʁ də ʒivɑ̃ʃi]; 20 February 1927 – 10 March 2018) was a French fashion designer who founded the house of Givenchy in 1952. He is famous for having designed much of the personal and professional wardrobe of Audrey Hepburn and clothing for Jacqueline Bouvier Kennedy. He was named to the International Best Dressed List Hall of Fame in 1970. His partner was Philippe Venet.
Hubert James Taffin de Givenchy was born on 20 February 1927 in Beauvais, Oise into a Protestant family. He was the younger son of Lucien Taffin de Givenchy, Marquis of Givenchy (1888–1930), and his wife, the former Béatrice ("Sissi") Badin (1888–1976). The Taffin de Givenchy family, which traces its roots to Venice, Italy (the original surname was Taffini), was ennobled in 1713, at which time the head of the family became Marquis of Givenchy. He had an elder brother, Jean-Claude de Givenchy (1925–2009), who inherited the family's marquessate and eventually became the president of Parfums Givenchy.
After his father's death from influenza in 1930, he was raised by his mother and maternal grandmother, Marguerite Dieterle Badin (1853–1940), the widow of Jules Badin (1843–1919), an artist who was the owner and director of the historic Gobelins Manufactory and Beauvais tapestry factories. Artistic professions ran in the extended Badin family. Givenchy's maternal great-grandfather, Jules Dieterle, was a set designer who also created designs for the Beauvais factory, including a set of 13 designs for the Elysée Palace. One of his great-great-grandfathers also designed sets for the Paris Opera.
Givenchy's first designs were done for Jacques Fath in 1945. Later he did designs for Robert Piguet and Lucien Lelong (1946) – working alongside the still-unknown Pierre Balmain and Christian Dior. From 1947 to 1951 he worked for the avantgarde designer Elsa Schiaparelli.
In 1952, he opened his own design house at the Plaine Monceau in Paris. Later, he named his first collection "Bettina Graziani" for Paris's top model at the time. His style was marked by innovation, contrary to the more conservative designs by Dior. At 25, he was the youngest designer of the progressive Paris fashion scene. His first collections were characterized by the use of rather cheap fabrics for financial reasons, but they always piqued curiosity through their design.
Audrey Hepburn, later the most prominent proponent of Givenchy's fashion, and Givenchy first met in 1953 during the shoot of Sabrina. He went on to design the black dress she wore in Breakfast at Tiffany's. He also developed his first perfume collection for her (L'Interdit and Le de Givenchy). Audrey Hepburn was the face of that fragrance. This was the first time a star was the face of a fragrance's advertising campaign, and probably the last time that it was done for free, only by friendship.
At that time, Givenchy also met his idol Cristóbal Balenciaga. Givenchy sought inspiration not only from the lofty settings of haute couture but also in such avant-garde environments as Limbo, the store in Manhattan's East Village.
Givenchy's notable clients included Donna Marella Agnelli, Lauren Bacall, Ingrid Bergman, Countess Mona von Bismarck, Countess Cristiana Brandolini d'Adda, Sunny von Bülow, Renata Tebaldi, Maria Callas, Capucine, Marlene Dietrich, Daisy Fellowes, Greta Garbo, Gloria Guinness, Dolores Guinness, Aimee de Heeren, Audrey Hepburn, Jane Holzer, Grace Kelly, Princess Salimah Aga Khan, Rachel Lambert Mellon, Sophia Loren, Jeanne Moreau, Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis, Empress Farah Pahlavi, Babe Paley, Lee Radziwill, Comtesse Jacqueline de Ribes, Nona Hendryx, Baroness Pauline de Rothschild, Frederica von Stade, Baroness Gaby Van Zuylen van Nijevelt, Diana Vreeland, Betsey Cushing Roosevelt Whitney, Baroness Sylvia de Waldner, the Duchess of Windsor, and Jayne Wrightsman.
In 1969, a men's line was also created. From 1976 through 1983, the Ford Motor Company offered a Givenchy Edition of its Continental Mark series of luxury automobiles beginning in 1976 with the Continental Mark IV coupe and ending with the 1983 Continental Mark VI coupe and sedan. In 1988, he organized a retrospective of his work at the Beverly Wilshire Hotel in Beverly Hills, California.
Givenchy retired from fashion design in 1995. His successor to head the Givenchy label was John Galliano. After a brief stint by Galliano, a five-year stay from Alexander McQueen and a term from 2001 to 2004 by Julien Macdonald, Givenchy women's ready-to-wear and haute couture was then headed by Riccardo Tisci from 2005 until 2017. Clare Waight Keller is now the creative director of the fashion house.
Givenchy resided at the Château du Jonchet, a listed historic castle in Romilly-sur-Aigre, Eure-et-Loir, near Paris. In his retirement, he focused on collecting 17th and 18th-century bronze and marble sculptures. In July 2010, he spoke at the Oxford Union. From 8 to 14 September 2014, during the Biennale des Antiquaires, he organized a private sale exhibition at Christie's in Paris featuring, artwork by Jean-Baptiste-Claude Odiot, the Manufacture nationale de Sèvres, Jacques-Louis David, and Anne-Louis Girodet de Roussy-Trioson, etcetera.
In January 2007, the French Post Office issued postage stamps for Valentine's Day designed by Givenchy. In October 2014, a retrospective exhibition featuring ninety-five of his designed pieces took place at the Thyssen-Bornemisza Museum in Madrid, Spain.
His longtime partner was fashion designer Philippe Venet.
- Françoise Mohrt, The Givenchy Style (1998), Assouline. ISBN 2-84323-107-8
- Pamela Clarke Keogh, Hubert de Givenchy (introduction): Audrey style (1999), Aurum Press. ISBN 1-85410-645-7
- Jean-Noël Liaut: Hubert de Givenchy : Entre vies et légendes (2000), Editions Grasset & Fasquelle. ISBN 2-246-57991-0
- Mohrt, Françoise. The Givenchy Style. Assouline, 1998. ISBN 2-84323-107-8, p. 204.
- "Le couturier Hubert de Givenchy est mort à l'âge de 91 ans" (in French). Le Monde. 12 March 2018.
- "'Little black dress' designer Givenchy dies aged 91". Yahoo News Australia. 13 March 2018. Archived from the original on 12 March 2018. Retrieved 12 March 2018.
- Ultimate Style – The Best of the Best Dressed List. 2004. p. 116. ISBN 2 84323 513 8.
- Weigle, Lauren (12 March 2018). "Philippe Venet, Hubert de Givenchy's Partner: 5 Fast Facts You Need to Know". Heavy.com. Retrieved 17 August 2018.
- Hubert de Givenchy at FMD
- Hubert de Givenchy: 'It was always my dream to be a dress designer', The Independent, 7 June 2010
- Connie Roff, Who's Who: Hubert de Givenchy, Vogue, 11 November 2011
- Jougla VI, 256, numéro 32324.
- New York Times,Hubert de Givenchy Dies at 91; Fashion Pillar of Romantic Elegance, by Eric Wilson, March 12 2018
- (fr)Encyclopedie.picardie.fr, Givenchy, Hubert de
- Rose-Mary Turk, Givenchy : For 36 years, He Has Reigned as a Prince of Fashion; an Unusual Retrospective in L.A. Will Show Why, The Los Angeles Times, 28 October 1988
- 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. French fashion designer Hubert de Givenchy has died at the age of 91, News Corp Australia Network, March 13, 2018
- Ashifa Kassam, Hubert de Givenchy needled by collapse of haute couture, The Guardian, 22 October 2014
- Mary M. Lane, Hubert de Givenchy Remembers Audrey Hepburn, The Wall Street Journal, 4 September 2012
- History of the house
- Lauren Milligan, Hubert De Givenchy On Fashion Today, Vogue, 20 October 2014
- Vogue (15 February 1966)
- The iconic Givenchy balloon coat
- The 'baby doll' dress Archived 24 November 2015 at the Wayback Machine
- Givenchy Gentleman: prêt-à-porter for men Archived 24 November 2015 at the Wayback Machine
- Pat McColl, Fashion 89 : Givenchy and Valentino Add Final Touch, The Los Angeles Times, 27 January 1989
- Vogue, Clare Waight Keller Is Givenchy’s New Artistic Director, March 16, 2017 by Nicole Phelps
- Christie's: Empire, mise en scène par Monsieur Hubert de Givenchy
- Thyssen-Bornemisza Museum: Hubert de Givenchy
- GGG.at: Modeschöpfer Hubert de Givenchy ist tot (german)
- "Givenchy, French fashion icon, dies aged 91". BBC News. 12 March 2018.
- Wilsher, Kim (12 March 2018). "Hubert de Givenchy, maker of style icons, dies aged 91". The Guardian.
- Wilson, Eric (12 March 2018). "Hubert de Givenchy, Pillar of Romantic Elegance in Fashion, Dies at 91". The New York Times. Retrieved 12 March 2018.
- Fashionista website. Retrieved 14 March 2018.
- "French fashion icon Givenchy dies". BBC News. 12 March 2018. Retrieved 29 November 2018.