French designer Hubert de Givenchy dead at 91

By Annie Martin  |  Updated March 12, 2018 at 1:37 PM
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March 12 (UPI) -- French fashion designer Hubert de Givenchy died Saturday at age 91.

Givenchy's partner, Philippe Venet, said the style icon died in his sleep at the home they shared outside Paris, according to The Guardian.

Givenchy fashion house, which Givenchy founded in 1952, confirmed the news Monday on its official Twitter account.

"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 a half a century. He will be greatly missed," the company said.

Givenchy was known for creating several iconic dresses for actress Audrey Hepburn, including the embroidered white dress she wore in Sabrina (1954) and the black column dress she sported in Breakfast at Tiffany's (1961).

"He revolutionized international fashion with the timelessly stylish looks he created for Audrey Hepburn, his great friend and muse for over 40 years," Givenchy fashion house said, according to the Los Angeles Times. "His work remains as relevant today as it was then."

Givenchy was 25 when he opened his design house in 1952, and met Hepburn the next year after she was cast in Sabrina. He agreed to meet with her only because he thought he was dressing Katharine Hepburn, but developed a longtime friendship with the actress.

"Immediately we had this great sympathy together," the designer recalled of Hepburn, who died in 1993, in an interview with the Los Angeles Times in 1995.

Givenchy created pieces for Hepburn both on and off-screen, and won an Oscar in 1958 for his contributions to her movie Funny Face. He also dressed such women as Marlene Dietrich, Grace Kelly and Jacqueline Kennedy.

Givenchy retired in 1995, six years after his fashion house was acquired by LVMH. John Galliano, Alexander McQueen, Julien Macdonald and Riccardo Tisci followed as creative director, a role now held by Clare Waight Keller.

Kim Kardashian and Beyoncé are among the stars who have worn modern Givenchy designs. Kardashian wore a floral dress to the 2013 Met Gala while pregnant with daughter North West, while Beyoncé wore a latex gown to the 2016 event.

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