Fashion legend Hubert de Givenchy dies, aged 91

Nick Duffy March 13, 2018
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French fashion designer Hubert de Givenchy at his design house at the Plaine Monceau in Paris, circa 1955. (Photo by Hulton Archive/Getty Images)

Fashion icon Hubert de Givenchy has died.

The famed French fashion designer dressed many iconic women – including Audrey Hepburn, Jackie Kennedy, Elizabeth Taylor, Grace Kelly, and Marlene Dietrich.

Portrait of Belgian-born actress Audrey Hepburn (1929 – 1993) and French fashion designer Hubert De Givenchy, mid 1980s. (Photo by Hulton Archive/Getty Images)

He also founded The House of Givenchy haute couture fashion label.

Givenchy, aged 91, died in his sleep at his home near Paris on Saturday, a statement from his family confirmed.

He is survived by his long-time partner and former designer Philippe Venet.

French aristocrat and fashion designer Hubert de Givenchy poses on July 27, 1978 in Paris. AFP PHOTO PIERRE GUILLAUD (Photo credit should read PIERRE GUILLAUD/AFP/Getty Images)

Venet previously worked for his partner, and was a master tailor for Givenchy from 1953 until 1962.

In a statement, The House of Givenchy said: “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. He will be greatly missed.

“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.”

A portrait taken on July 1978 shows French fashion designer Hubert de Givenchy in Paris. AFP PHOTO (Photo credit should read -/AFP/Getty Images)

Givenchy dressed Hepburn across a number of her films, most famously creating her now-classic little black dress for 1961 hit Breakfast At Tiffany’s.

In lieu of flowers, his family is asking that fans donate to UNICEF in his honour.

Givenchy’s company, from which he stepped back some time ago, was one of the first major fashion houses to feature a transgender model at the front of a major campaign.

Its 2010 Autumn/Winter campaign featured trans model Leandra Medeiros Cerezo (Lea T).

Givenchy designer Riccardo Tisci had said: “When Lea told her family [she wanted to transition], their reaction was not so good.

“She called me one day at six in the morning, and she was destroyed. Destroyed. And she said, ‘I want to prostitute myself. I want to go to the street because I don’t have money to [undergo surgery], my family doesn’t give me the money, and I don’t care what I have to do for it.

“For once in my life, I understand what I want to be, and nobody is going to stop me.’

“The fact that she told me that she wanted to be a prostitute, it killed me. I decided to do the campaign for two reasons.

“To help Lea financially, and because who says so that a transsexual cannot be a top model?

“Even when I called the photographers, they were like, ‘A transsexual?’ And I was like, ‘Yeah, a transsexual. She’s a beautiful girl, you guys are going to meet her, she’s amazing’.

“We did it in a really honest way. You know, very naive… and in the end, it turned out to be this big thing, which is amazing.”

More: death, Europe, fashion, France, Gay, LGBT

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