The fashion industry is mourning the death of French designer and stylist Hubert de Givenchy. He was 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," read a tweet on the high-fashion brand's verified account. "He will be greatly missed."
Among his many contributions to the fashion world, Givenchy is responsible for Audrey Hepburn's iconic little black dress in Breakfast at Tiffany’s, and also styled Grace Kelly and Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis.
Givenchy, Christian Dior, Yves Saint Laurent and Christobal Balenciaga made up the elite foursome of Paris-based fashion designers that emerged in the wake of World War II.
In the 1960s, Givenchy went on to launch his own high-fashion line of clothing and accessories and sold it in 1988 to LVMH. He retired as the brand's chief designer in 1995, and was succeeded by John Galliano, the late Alexander McQueen, Julien Macdonald, Riccardo Tisci and most currently Clare Waight Keller, the first woman in the role.
"I am deeply saddened by the loss of a great man and artist I have had the honor to meet and get to know since my appointment at Givenchy," Keller posted to Instagram along with a black-and-white photo of Givenchy. "Not only was he one of the most influential fashion figures of our time, whose legacy still influences modern day dressing, but he also was one of the chicest most charming men I have ever met. The definition of a true gentleman, that will stay with me forever. My deepest thoughts are with his loved ones in this difficult time."
Bernard Arnault, chairman and CEO of LVMH Group, also released a statement on the company's website, expressing his sympathies and praising the late designer. "I am deeply saddened by the death of Hubert de Givenchy. He was among those designers who placed Paris firmly at the heart of world fashion post 1950 while creating a unique personality for his own fashion label," Arnault writes. "In both prestigious long dresses and daywear, Hubert de Givenchy has brought together two rare qualities: to be innovative and timeless. I extend my most sincere condolences to his family and to all those who have known him."
In addition to the House of Givenchy's tweet, a lengthier statement was posted, calling the fashion icon 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."
His enduring influence and his approach to style reverberates to this day: with his first couture collection, in 1952, he championed the concept of separates," the statement continues. "Two years later he became the first designer to launch a high-end ready-to wear line. And he revolutionized international fashion with the timelessly stylish looks he created for Audrey Hepburn, his great friend and muse for over 40 years. His work remains as relevant today as it was then. He will be greatly missed."
Givenchy is survived by his companion and French couture designer, Philippe Venet.