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Givenchy

Givenchy store The Dubai Mall, Dubai, UAE

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Givenchy is a French brand that is best known for making haute-couture clothing and designer accessories. Founded in 1952 by French designer Hubert de Givenchy, the eponymous Maison has been and still is one of the most coveted designer brands since its conception.


HUBERT DE GIVENCHY

Hubert de Givenchy was raised by his mother and grandmother who instilled in him a passion for fashion, fabrics and creativity. 

At the age of 17, Givenchy decided to pursue a fashion career by taking up an apprenticeship at the Jacques Fath couture house whilst studying at the French National School of Fine Art. Following a recommendation from an up-and-coming Christian Dior, Hubert moved to Robert Piguet in 1946 and worked for a brief stint at Lucien Lelong in 1947. He then joined the house of legendary designer Elsa Schiaparelli where he worked his way up to become artistic director of the Schiaparelli boutique on Place Vendôme. 

THE BEGINNING OF GIVENCHY MAISON

In 1952, Hubert de Givenchy opened his namesake house and presented his first collection, a line consisting of ‘separates’ (think elegant blouses, light skirts blending architectural lines and simplicity). His use of clean silhouettes and feminine fits translated well to the female figure and the separates made it easier to mix and match to create various looks. This collection was refreshingly different from the rigid pieces that dominated the fashion industry at the time.

GIVENCHY & AUDREY HEPBURN

In 1953, Hubert de Givenchy met Audrey Hepburn, who quickly became his muse and the face of the brand. The pair went on to create fashion that redefined the standard of beauty at the time. Together they embraced a lighter and less restricted style that was the norm for the era. His designs embraced simplicity and architectural lines. He introduced the fashion world to the shirtdress and his unique lantern shape. This went on for 40 years. 

Some of the most famous collaborations between the two include a beautiful dress gown made for the 1954 film Sabrina, which earned Givenchy a wardrobe Oscar nomination, and an elegant white floral dress that Hepburn wore to the 1954 Academy Awards (it's regarded as one of the most famous dresses of the 20th century). Last, but not least, the iconic LBD (Little Black Dress) in the 1961 film Breakfast at Tiffany's

GIVENCHY & BALENCIAGA

In the same year, Givenchy met Cristobal Balenciaga, his idol and mentor. Although there was never a formal apprenticeship between the two, Balenciaga helped Givenchy establish his own style and even advised him on business decisions.

GIVENCHY EXPANDING

Givenchy would make fashion history by becoming the first couturier to present a ready-to-wear collection, which represents democratisation in the traditional fashion system that perfectly suited the needs of the burgeoning post-war middle class. 

GIVENCHY GENTLEMAN

Once business was booming, Givenchy soon came out with a ready-to-wear menswear line called ‘Givenchy Gentleman’ in 1969. His early collections were nothing short of classy and sophisticated, which appealed to high society men. 

THE GRACIOUS END TO HUBERT DE GIVENCHY’S CAREER

After 40 years, growing his brand to new heights. Hubert de Givenchy finally stepped down in 1995. The designer encourages a new era of creatives to take over and twirl the Maison for a new generation. 

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