Hubert de Givenchy, founder of French fashion house Givenchy, has died at 91 years old. Philippe Venet, Givenchy’s partner and a former haute couture designer, confirmed the news via the brand this morning, saying he had died in his sleep on Saturday.
One of the biggest contributions to Givenchy’s icon status was driven from the fact that he often dressed actress Audrey Hepburn, his longtime muse.
Givenchy created various suits and dresses for the actress, including the black sheath dress she wears in the opening scene from “Breakfast at Tiffany’s.” This has become one of the designer’s most notable creations and is one of the key pieces why Givenchy is often credited as the creator of the little black dress.
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“He was the first creator to launch a luxury ready-to-wear range. He revolutionized international fashion in creating the timeless looks for Audrey Hepburn, his friend and muse for more than 40 years,” said the label in a statement released by LVMH.
In addition to Hepburn, prominent figures including Elizabeth Taylor, Princess Grace of Monaco and Jacqueline Kennedy also called Givenchy a favorite. Former first lady Kennedy even wore one of his black shift dresses to the funeral of her husband, John F. Kennedy — the designer even reportedly flew the garment in overnight for her.
“Hubert de Givenchy was a symbol of Parisian elegance for more than half a century,” the brand said. “He was among those designers who placed Paris firmly at the heart of world fashion post-1950.”
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