The name Hubert de Givenchy is associated with many famous beauties of the middle of the last century. But he had no affairs with Baroness Rothschild, Grace Kelly, Jacqueline Kennedy-Onassis, Duchess of Windsor. He just wore them. And Audrey Hepburn became the main muse for Givenchy. After she got acquainted with the work of this designer, she began to dress only with him. At the same time, the clothes from Givenchy were on the actress and in her films. Such joint creativity brought the maestro "Oscar".
Givenchy's passion for design was so overwhelming that he worked on the finishing of the Lincoln automobile as well as the Hilton hotels. Givenchy was also noted for wearing the famous Barbie doll with Dior.
Someone even compared Hubert de Givenchy to the Little Prince Antoine de Saint-Exupery. They said that the designer also lives in a world of illusions. But only he could not go there, but share the miracle with millions of his fans. The Little Prince Givenchy is also related to the fact that Hubert's father, like Exupery, was also a romantic pilot. And Lucien Taffin de Givenchy died very young, when his son was only two years old.
And Hubert de Givenchy was born on February 21, 1927 at number 24 on the rue Saint-Louis in Beauvais, France. When his father died soon after, it became a tragedy for the mother. Realizing that his mother would not survive the loss of her son, Hubert gave up the dream of heaven forever. But he learned to experience the feeling of flying on the ground, just enjoying the beauty of the world around him. Such talent is not available to everyone, but those who know how to dream are truly happy.
Hubert had an adorable grandmother, which is natural for any child. But all the elderly people, she did not like to part with old things - after all, they reminded her of the past years. Among the treasures of grandmother's chests was a box with shreds left over from sewn dresses. This is what became the most interesting toy for the boy. Fiddling with the shreds was much more interesting than with blocks, toy soldiers or construction sets.
Hubert loved to lay out colored fabrics so that they formed a beautiful pattern. The boy also took into account the texture, size and color of the pattern. At the age of five, he unmistakably distinguished any fabric by touch, especially in love with velvet. When Hubert was 10 years old, his mother took him to the Paris fair. Surprisingly, the most attractive place for him was the fashion pavilion. There were exhibited 30 works of the most famous designers of that time. The future couturier meticulously examined all the works, apparently deciding for himself what could be done better.
With the outbreak of World War II, the teenager's desire to engage in fashion only grew stronger. After all, there were so many grieving women around, who had lost the meaning of life, that I really wanted to please them with something. But the chosen path did not particularly please Hubert's family, because they saw him as a lawyer in the future. But after the liberation of Paris, young Givenchy immediately went to the fashion capital, deciding to conquer it. But he was only 17 years old. His first job was as a draftsman for the then famous designer Jacques Fath. And in 1945, Hubert entered the School of Fine Arts.
Over the next six years, Givenchy changed several jobs, while he tried to collaborate with the country's leading fashion designers. The future couturier worked with Robert Piaget, and when Christian Dior left the place of Lucien Lelong's assistant, he took his place. Then there was the post of assistant to Elsa Schiaparelli. She liked the budding designer so much that she gave him the opportunity to run one of her boutiques. There Givenchy met a woman who was able to take an important place in his life.
One day a young lady dropped by in the atelier, to whom Hubert immediately drew attention. After trying on a few dresses, she asked Givenchy to get her a job here. He promised to arrange her with him as soon as he opened his own House. And on February 2, 1952 it happened - the Givenchy Fashion House was born. The founder did not forget that story when he made the girl his secretary. The history of relations with her became long and beautiful, full of love and affection. It was a rare case when the maestro opened the veil of his personal life.
And his relatives helped him to realize his old dream. They lent him money. They eventually believed in the young man's talent and the loyalty of the path he had chosen. 1953 was a turning point in the life of the young designer. After all, there were certain events that influenced both his life and his work. The first collection of the recently opened House was released. Only 15 people came to see her, but they reacted enthusiastically.
It is likely that these were not ordinary viewers, given Givenchy's connections in the fashion world. At the same time, the designer met a man who became his friend and teacher. He still considers him a unique and inimitable fashion designer. The man's name is Cristobal Balenciaga. In 1953, Givenchy met his muse, who became an eternal source of inspiration - actress Audrey Hepburn.
At the time of their acquaintance, the American had already starred in "Roman Holiday". But the film had yet to hit the screens, and the Hepburn star was getting ready to light up. Then she was still an angular and provincial modest girl. Givenchy not only saw the future in her, but also determined that Audrey has an innate taste and sense of style. Such a client for any fashion designer is a godsend that can glorify, as the cut of the purest diamond praises a jeweler.
Hepburn was drawn to classics and traditionalism, she liked textured fabrics and bright colors. In collaboration with Givenchy, sack dress was created. This is a women's shirt dress with a loose fit, embroidered with braid to the hem from the shoulders. The names Givenchy and Hepburn were often mentioned side by side in the press, which only contributed to the fame of the designer.
In 1957 Givenchy created his first perfume. They were, of course, dedicated to Audrey Hepburn. In 1959, the first fragrance for men appeared. In just half a century, over a hundred fragrances have been released under the Givenchy brand. And in 1973, the designer entered the world of menswear. But everything is changing. Givenchy himself sadly realized that fashion began to lose the spirit of art, more and more turning into a provocation and shock. Only Yves Saint Laurent remained the last stronghold of elegance.
In 1988, Givenchy sold his House to the financial group LVMH. But the designer himself was left with the right of artistic direction of his own brainchild for seven years. But although in the world of fashion, the style of the houses is not an empty phrase, the candidacy of a new leader, proposed by Givenchy himself, was rejected. As a result, John Galliano became the lead designer. But this certainly talented designer works in a different direction. But just a year later, Galliano left Givenchy.
He was replaced by Alexander McQueen, who immediately stated that he had not seen a single film with Audrey Hepburn. And this man was entrusted with continuing the work of Hubert Givenchy? Many called this choice of owners frankly idiotic. Designers replaced one another - after Julien McDonald, the post was taken by Oswald Boateng, and since 2008, the Italian Ricardo Tisci has become the creative director of the men's, women's lines, as well as accessories.
Hubert Givenchy himself conducted his farewell show on July 11, 1995. Having retired, the master never crossed the threshold of the Fashion House created by him. After all, what is created there is not to his liking. The designer prefers a much more classic style. Now he does what he likes - he creates costumes for the Bolshoi Theater, heads the Paris branch of the Christie’s auction, works on the design of stamps. Although the fashion designer is well over 80, he remains a handsome fit man. It is no coincidence that there is talk of Hubert's aristocratic origin.
But even looking at his work, all doubts about the nobility of the master immediately disappear. Looking at Givenchy one can see in him a duke or a count. And everything that he undertook throughout his life, personified elegance and impeccable taste. It is believed that there are things that cannot be learned, spied somewhere or adopted. It must be in the blood. So Givenchy remained the only and unique aristocrat of fashion.