Hubert de Givenchy has passed away. The famed French fashion designer known for curating the wardrobes of Audrey Hepburn, Jackie Kennedy and Ingrid Bergman, among many others, died of natural causes at the age of 91-years-old, reportedly passing peacefully in his sleep. After 50 years in the fashion industry, during which time he worked alongside the likes of Christian Dior and Pierre Balmain and opened up one of the world’s most famous fashion houses, de Givenchy retired in 1995, passing on his role as head of the Givenchy label to John Galliano. Few names remain as synonymous with high-quality, envelop-pushing fashion as Givenchy, a testament to the brand’s ethos and the strength of their vision from generation to generation. So just how much was the pioneering fashion legend worth?
Hubert de Givenchy Net Worth As Of 2019: $200 Million
Givenchy has been one of the biggest fashion houses in the world for over 50 years, so it makes sense that the man who started it all would have raked in quite a bit over the years. Let’s take a look down below at how exactly he did it all:
Early Life and Career Beginnings: 1927 — 1951
de Givenchy was born Hubert James Marcel Taffin de Givenchy in Beauvais, France on February 20, 1927. Following his father’s death from influenza in 1930, de Givenchy was raised by his mother and his grandmother. He had one older brother, Jean-Claude, who would go on to head Parfum Givenchy. At the age of 17, de Givenchy moved to Paris to study at the École des Beaux-Arts, a highly-influential art school where he would begin study fashion design seriously. He would make his first designs for famed post-war designer Jacques Fath at the age of 18 in 1945, before working with Robert Piguet and an aging Lucien Lelong. de Givenchy would work for avant-garde designer Schiaparelli from 1947 to 1951, before departing to open his own design house.
Initial Success and the Birth of an Icon: 1952 — 1995
de Givenchy opened his design house in 1952, naming his first collection “Bettina Graziani” after the biggest model in Paris at the time. The collection was an immediate success, marked by youthfulness and innovation and de Givenchy’s use of cheap fabrics to create curious but nonetheless desirable pieces. The following year, de Givenchy would meet Audrey Hepburn, the actress whose wardrobe de Givenchy would eventually design. Hepburn, whose esteem in acting rivaled that of de Givenchy’s in fashion, would become perhaps the greatest proponent Givenchy, wearing the brand often and making infamous the de Givenchy-designed ‘little black dress’ she wore in Breakfast at Tiffany’s. Hepburn was likewise the first face of Givenchy perfume, with his first fragrance collection designed for and modeled by her. This would mark the first time an actress served as the star of a fragrance campaign.
It was during this same period in the mid-1950s that de Givenchy would get the opportunity to work under his idol, Cristóbal Balenciaga. In 1954, Givenchy released his first prêt-à-porter collection, becoming the first couturier to present a line of luxury, ready-to-wear outfits.
In 1957 he would release his still-famous “sack” silhouette, a shapeless, ballooning piece of women’s wear whose shorter hem’s encouraged women to show off their legs. This style would become a fashion staple of the 1960s, anchoring the Givenchy brand until it’s next big leap came in 1973, with the release of the first men’s line, Gentleman Givenchy.
In 1988, de Givenchy would sell the Givenchy house to Louis Vuitton Moët Hennessey, and in 1995 he would retire from the fashion world entirely. His successors at Givenchy have included the highly-acclaimed Alexander McQueen, Julian Macdonald and Riccardo Tisci.
The French fashion designer, famous for designing the on and off-screen wardrobe of Audrey Hepburn for films like Breakfast at Tiffany’s and Funny Face, had left for his heavenly at the age of 91.