Hubert de Givenchy
- Category : Designer - Fashion
- Type : MGE
- Profile : 1/3 - Investigating / Martyr
- Definition : Single
- Incarnation Cross : RAX The Sleeping Phoenix 1
Count Hubert James Marcel Taffin de Givenchy (pronounced ; born 21 February 1927) is a French aristocrat and fashion designer who founded The House of Givenchy in 1952. He is famous for having designed much of the personal and professional wardrobe of Audrey Hepburn, as well as clothing for clients such as Jacqueline Kennedy. He was named to the International Best Dressed List Hall of Fame in 1970.
The younger son of Lucien Taffin de Givenchy (1888–1930), marquis of Givenchy, and his wife, the former Béatrice ("Sissi") Badin (1888–1976), Givenchy was born in Beauvais, Oise.
The Taffin de Givenchy family, which traces its roots to Venice, Italy (the original surname was Taffini), was ennobled in 1713, at which time the head of the family became marquis of Givenchy.
After his father's death from influenza in 1930, the future fashion designer and his elder brother Jean-Claude de Givenchy (1925–2009), who inherited the family's marquessate and eventually became the president of Parfums Givenchy, were raised by their mother and maternal grandmother, Marguerite Dieterle Badin (1853–1940), the widow of Jules Badin (1843–1919), an artist who was the owner and director of the historic Gobelins Manufactory and Beauvais tapestry factories. Artistic professions ran in the extended Badin family. Givenchy's maternal great-grandfather, Jules Dieterle, was a set designer who also created designs for the Beauvais factory, including a set of 13 designs for the Elysée Palace. One of his great-great-grandfathers also designed sets for the Paris Opera.
Impressed by the 1937 World's Fair in Paris, young Givenchy decided he wanted to work "somewhere in fashion design". He studied at the École des Beaux-Arts in Paris. His first designs were done for Jacques Fath in 1945, an association that came through family members who knew Fath personally. Later he did designs for Robert Piguet and Lucien Lelong (1946) — working alongside the still-unknown Pierre Balmain and Christian Dior. From 1947 to 1951 he worked for the avantgarde designer Elsa Schiaparelli.
In 1952, Givenchy opened his own design house at the Plaine Monceau in Paris. Later he named his first collection "Bettina Graziani" for Paris's top model at the time. His style was marked by innovation, contrary to the more conservative designs by Dior. At 25, he was the youngest designer of the progressive Paris fashion scene. His first collections were characterized by the use of rather cheap fabrics for financial reasons, but they always piqued curiosity through their design. Audrey Hepburn, later the most prominent proponent of Givenchy's fashion, and Givenchy met in 1953 during the shoot of Sabrina. He went on to design almost all the wardrobes she wore in her movies. He also developed his first perfume collection for her (L'Interdit and Le de Givenchy). At that time, Givenchy also met his idol, Cristóbal Balenciaga, who had also influenced Paco Rabanne's work previously. Although a renowned designer, Givenchy not only sought inspiration from the lofty settings of haute couture but also in such avant-garde environments as Limbo, the store in Manhattan's East Village.
In 1954, Givenchy's prêt-à-porter collection debuted; later a men's line was also launched.
The House of Givenchy was split in 1981, with the perfume line going to Veuve Clicquot, while the fashion branch went to LVMH's portfolio of upscale brands. As of today, LVMH owns Parfums Givenchy as well.
The Givenchy Edition Continental Mark series
From 1976 through 1983, the Ford Motor Company offered a Givenchy Edition of its Continental Mark series of luxury automobiles beginning in 1976 with the Continental Mark IV coupe and ending with the 1983 Continental Mark VI coupe and sedan.