Fashion Icon Hubert de Givenchy Dies at 91

The fashion world pays tribute to the late Hubert de Givenchy

U.S. first lady Jacqueline Kennedy adopted the Givenchy look for her White House years, sticking to a uniform of shift dresses, pillbox hats and low-heeled pumps.

The French president's office praised Givenchy as a designer whose name became an emblem for French elegance, with one principle: "to respect and celebrate the woman's body".

The house of Givenchy, which he founded in 1952, paid tribute to 'a major personality of the world of French haute couture and a gentleman who symbolised Parisian chic and elegance for more than half a century.

His longtime partner, the former haute couture designer Philippe Venet, announced his death through the Givenchy fashion house, saying he had died in his sleep on Saturday.

Givenchy created one of the most iconic "little black dresses" in fashion history: the gown Hepburn donned in the opening scenes of 1961's "Breakfast at Tiffany's".

"To dress a woman is to make her lovely", Givenchy once said.

Regarded as one of the design world's most enduring and elegant presences, the 6′ 6 designer also worked alongside Pierre Balmain and Christian Dior before setting up his eponymous label.

Born into a noble French family in 1927, Givenchy moved to Paris aged 17 to study fashion, and debuted his first collection aged just 24. His impressive clientele included members of British aristocracy, Audrey Hepburn, Jacqueline Bouvier Kennedy among other noted dignitaries. He remained head of creative design for seven years before retiring in 1995, reports Elle UK.

Givenchy is now headed up by Clare Waight Keller, who is the label's first ever female artistic director.

"The definition of a true gentleman that will stay with me forever", she added. 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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