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Hubert de Givenchy style icon

The Fashion Legacy of Designer Hubert de Givenchy

Next time to reach into your closet for your beloved Little Black Dress, please remember Hubert de Givenchy. The French aristocratic designer died March 10, 2018 at his chateau near Paris. He was 91.

You may not know Givenchy by his name. But  there is no question that you know - and love - his fashion legacy: the Little Black Dress.

In 1961, Givenchy created the most famous Little Black Dress, a long silk sheath dress with a side slit  Audrey Hepburn wore in the opening scene of the movie, "Breakfast at Tiffany's". 

He created a glamorous Parisian look by accessorizing the simple evening gown with black opera length gloves, four strands of pearls crafted into a choker, over-sized sun glasses and a cigarette holder that measured 12 inches. 

Over the decades, the oh-so feminine look made famous by Hepburn became a fashion icon and earned a place as a staple in every woman's wardrobe - including yours and mine!.

For many women, their Little Black Dress is priceless. There was, in the end, nothing little about the dress Givenchy created for Hepburn.  The one she wore in Breakfast at Tiffany's went for just over $900,000 when it was auctioned in 1966.

Love Affair with the LBD

We all need and love our LBD.  We trust it like a BFF. It's the piece in your closet that saves your day when you don't know what to wear that night.  

Your dress it up for a black-tie event with rhinestones and stilettos. You dress it down for daytime with pearls and flats. You can always feel safe in your LBD because it never goes out of fashion.

Givnechy loved to make beautiful things that he could touch and feel.  It gave him extraordinary pleasure to see a dress come alive on his clients. He adored dressing Hepburn often on the big screen for major movies as well as in her personal life. 

His timeless designs, despite their simplicity, have always represented the ultimate in French elegance.  Trained in haute couture, he eared accolades creating couture collections of custom evening gowns including the glamorous one Jackie Kennedy Onassis wore to a diplomatic dinner at Versailles.

She also asked him to design the black suit she wore to the funeral when her husband, President John Fitzgerald Kennedy was assassinated in November 1963.

Givenchy was born February 21, 1927 in Beavais, France to a wealthy family. A tall, lean and dignified patrician, his striking looks could effortlessly cast him in the role of James Bond. 

A Little Piece of Givenchy

I could never afford a Givenchy. But just out of college, working in New York City, I managed to buy a bold, orange, red and pink geometric print scarf with the Givenchy black logo in the corner. I wore that scarf for so many years that it finally tattered.  I reluctantly had to throw it away.

My Givenchy scarf, and the designer who created it, is gone. But the impeccable talent and flawless taste of this fashion giant lives on in every Little Black dress we wear.