Audrey Hepburn also became the face of Givenchy’s first perfume, L’Interdit, in 1957, which was dedicated to her.
Other clients included Grace Kelly, who wore an emerald green dress and bolero jacket on a state visit to Washington in 1961, and Jackie Kennedy whose black Givenchy skirt suit, worn to her husband’s funeral in 1963, was heavily photographed.
Givenchy sold his couture house to LVMH for a reported $45m in 1988, staying on as head of creative design until 1995, when he retired.
After a succession of designers came and went, the fashion brand flourished under designer Riccardo Tisci, who arrived in 2005. He took Givenchy in a darker, more dramatic direction, with a focus on streetwear. After his departure last year, he was replaced by Clare Waight Keller. Rogerio Fujimori, an analyst at RBC Capital Markets, estimated that Givenchy had annual revenues of €400m last year.
A handsome, dapper figure, who was always smartly dressed and stood at 6ft 5in tall, Givenchy was known for his impeccable manners and taste in art and interiors as well as fashion. He spent part of his time at Manoir du Jonchet, a grand moated manor house in western France, full of exquisite antiques.
Emmanuel Macron, French president, hailed the designer as a “master of elegance, creation and inventiveness, adding: “It is through such artists that France shines in the world and there is no doubt that the legacy of Hubert de Givenchy will endure.”
Bernard Arnault, chairman and chief executive of LVMH, also paid tribute to the designer: “I am deeply saddened by the death of Hubert de Givenchy. He was among those designers who placed Paris firmly at the heart of world fashion post-1950 while creating a unique personality for his own fashion label.”