If you are a fan of Audrey Hepburn and her iconic style, then you are a fan of Givenchy. The firm takes its name from company founder and creative force, Hubert de Givenchy whose simple and understated aesthetics created a trend that remains as strong today as it was 50 years ago.
The Givenchy brand is known for haute couture garments and accessories and is also famous for its perfumes and cosmetic lines. A global brand, it has an annual revenue of more than €900 million.
Born in France in 1927, Hubert Givenchy was son of an aristocratic family and yet his style never veered towards the sort of aloof or excessive designs that one might assume would come from such a privileged upbringing. Instead, his early life instilled in him a skill that enabled him to make even low cost materials into high fashion statements. That was something that would play out in his designs over the years - the use of good materials and simple lines to create tremendous effects.
He studied design and began working with top French houses. One of his earlly colleagues was an equally young Christian Dior. By 1952, he had opened his own firm and demonstrated his elegant style with one of his earliest lines. Forced to use lesser quality fabrics, the young designer created a following with his marvellous design and flattering lines.
Soon after this, he was to meet Audrey Hepburn, and the two would enjoy a warm and nurturing relationship for the rest of their lives. Becoming his muse, Hepburn would choose Givenchy as her costumer in many of her greatest roles, but even in this first collaboration on the film Sabrina, the pair made magic.
It was she who inspired his "LBD" or little black dress that is the pillar of most women's wardrobes to this day, and when he decided to enter the parfums industry, it was Hepburn for whom he designed the first scent - L'Interdit.
Within a year of working with Hepburn, Givenchy showed his first ready to wear line, creating the very first "shirt dress", and establishing his line as both luxury and pret a porter (ready to wear). From that point onward, Givenchy was a major force in the world of fashion, creating the famous "sack" dress, the Ballon coat, and the Baby Doll designs that shaped the late 1950s and early 60s fashions.
The next decade witnessed great changes for the house of Givenchy as they introduced their first men's line, added shoes, jewellery, ties, and kimonos to the look, and even began offering interior pieces. The 1970s and 80s were a bit of a golden era for Givenchy personally and professionally, chosen as a person of the year, given a retrospective at FIT, and named a Chevalier of the Legion of Honour in France, he had proven himself to be one of the finest and most universally appealing designers.
As the 1990s began, Givenchy stepped down as the creative director of the firm and even left the company. His former role was passed between some of the biggest names in contemporary fashion, including Galliano, Alexander McQueen and Riccardo Tisci, who remains in charge today.
As the name so closely associated with Hepburn and also with some of the finest dressed celebrities over time, Givenchy retains its reputation as stylish, classic, and enduring. A single piece can last a buyer a lifetime and be worn with continual style and elegance.
The trend in celebrity muses continues as the "face" of Givenchy is often a very recognizable one. In 2015, it is Julia Roberts who appears on the firm's site and in print campaigns, wearing their recent collection.
Their product line includes men and women's runway and ready to wear. They also still make some of the finest fragrances available, with Ange ou Demon, Dahlia Divin, Very Irresistible, Dahlia Noir, Play for Her, Eaudemoiselle, Hot Couture, Organza, Ysatis, Amarige, Jardin D'Interdit, Les Parfums and Mythiques for women, and Gentlemen Only, Play, PI, Xeryus Rouge, Gentleman, Pour Homme, Les Parfums Mythiques, and Intene Ultramarine for men.
If you want to look stylish and carry the gentle fragrance that only the most classic tastes can create, look to the house of Givenchy.
Givency.com. Fragrances. http://www.givenchybeauty.com/en