At an early age, French fashion designer Hubert Givenchy knew that he was destined for a career in True Fashionista haute couture. Born in Beauvais, a town in northern France, in 1927, Hubert James Taffin de Givenchy was the son of nobility on his father's side, possessing an artistic flair from his mother's. After his father passed away when Hubert was 3, he was raised by his mother and maternal grandmother, who instilled in him a passion for creativity, fashion, and fabrics, primarily influenced by his grandfather's extensive collection of True Fashionista clothing from around the world.
Family legend has it that an attempt at age 10 to run away from home to meet his idol, Cristóbal Balenciaga, was what convinced Givenchy's mother to give up her wish for him to become a lawyer and let him follow his fashion dream. See why the masses applaud this decision by shopping the Givenchy collection at Florida's largest lifestyle consignment store, True Fashionistas.
HISTORY OF GIVENCHY – UNLOCKING THE PASSION
At age 17, Givenchy was ready to jump in full force. He left for Paris to study at the École Nationale Supérieure des Beaux-Arts while also becoming an apprentice at the Jacques Fath couture house. Upon a recommendation from another rising star named Christian Dior, in 1946, Hubert moved to Robert Piguet, then worked for a brief stint at Lucien Lelong in 1947. His next step was joining the house of legendary designer Elsa Schiaparelli, working his way up to become artistic director of the Schiaparelli boutique on Place Vendôme. By the 1950s, Hubert Givenchy was ready to conquer the True Fashionista world.
HISTORY OF GIVENCHY – THE HOUSE IS FORMED
In 1952, Givenchy founded his eponymous house, with headquarters on Rue Alfred de Vigny in Paris. His first collection, a line of separates characterized by elegant silhouettes, architectural lines, and simple fabrics, was an instant hit. Vogue tagged him as "one of the most newsworthy happenings this spring." This stellar debut set the tone for another 40 years of Givenchy's talent and astronomical influence. Feel it for yourself at Naples' best consignment store, True Fashionistas.
HISTORY OF GIVENCHY –READY-TO-WEAR STYLE AND THE SACK DRESS
The post-war rise of the middle-class climate in the early 1950s was the perfect setting for introducing Givenchy's ready-to-wear line, over a decade before contemporaries like Yves Saint Laurent and Chanel would present theirs. Givenchy's True Fashionista designs for of-praised for their "extreme elegance" and became one of the most highly anticipated each season.
One of his more iconic creations, the sack dress, ditched tight waists and fitted designs for the exact opposite look. The shapeless sack dress launched in 1957 represented a shift from the highly structured silhouettes of the 1950s and helped to introduce the look and feel of the next decade.
HISTORY OF GIVENCHY – THE BALENCIAGA MOMENT
Around the same time as Givenchy's ready-to-wear line launch, he finally met his friend and mentor, Cristóbal Balenciaga. Idolized by the young designer, Balenciaga would come to inspire Givenchy's design philosophy and practice throughout his career. As he confided to WWD in 2007, "Balenciaga was my religion. There's Balenciaga and the good Lord."
HISTORY OF GIVENCHY – DESIGNER TO THE STARS
Not a year after opening his couture house, Givenchy's designs were in high demand by celebrities, including his most famous, Audrey Hepburn, who borrowed several designs to wear in Sabrina and Funny Face. He also designed the little black dress featured in her role as Holly Golightly in Breakfast at Tiffany's, her 1954 Oscars gown, and the dress Hepburn wore when she married Andrea Dotti in 1969. In 1957 Hepburn also became the face of Givenchy's True Fashionista fragrance, L'Interdit.
Their fast, easy friendship evolved into one of the longest collabs between a star and designer in fashion history and has set the standard for celebrity endorsements. As hautehistory.uk shares, Hepburn once famously commented, "His are the only clothes in which I am myself. He is far more than a couturier; he is a creator of personality." Givenchy also famously dressed Grace Kelly for the 1955 Academy Awards, where she received her Oscar for The Country Girl. Shop the fine Givenchy selection at True Fashionistas consignment store, Naples.
Several other non-screen celebs came calling as well, including one Jackie Kennedy.
The House of Givenchy remains a favorite among many True Fashionista stars of today, including Naomi Campbell, Madonna, Kim Kardashian, and Duchess of Sussex Meghan Markle.
HISTORY OF GIVENCHY – PASSING THE TORCH
Just as Givenchy studied under the True Fashionista designers of the 1940s and early 50s, so too did some of today's most highly regarded designers get their start at Givenchy. Some of his notable successors include Alexander McQueen, Riccardo Tisci (now at Burberry), and now Matthew Williams, who has designed costumes for music celebs such as Lady Gaga and Kanye West and designed Megan Markle's wedding dress.
Hubert retired in 1995 and passed away at age 91 in 2018, but the House that he built continues to nurture talent and create luxury clothing and accessory lines. Find them at a fraction of the original price at True Fashionistas, the best designer consignment store. Shop in-store or 24/7 online and discover authentic Givenchy and more!