Count Hubert James Marcel Taffin de Givenchy – little wonder he simply became known as ‘Givenchy.’ The esteemed couturier died on Saturday at the age of 91, with French President Emmanuel Macron saying that, ‘France has lost a master. A master of elegance, creation and invention, a master of his culture and ambassador of this spirit of liberty and audacity.’
Famed for dressing the most glamorous stars, from Audrey Hepburn and Princess Grace of Monaco to Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis, they were counted not only as clients, but friends and admirers of his exquisite work.
Indeed Givenchy was much admired, and it’s been noted that ‘it didn’t hurt’ he was blessed with strapping height (6ft 6) and elegant good looks along with his natural talent and quiet charm. Creator of the famous ‘little black dress’ his muse Hepburn would wear in Breakfast at Tiffany’s – his name became legendary in his own lifetime and (just like his fashions, perfumes and makeup) will echo through the ages.
As early as 1957, Givenchy was already creating fragrances – declaring them a woman’s ‘finishing touch’, when getting dressed. In 1958 – at a time when perfumes didn’t have ‘faces’ – he created a revolution by asking his friend Audrey Hepburn to be the star of the advertising campaign for L’Interdit: the very first time that a movie star had appeared in a perfume advertisement.
Our co-founder, Jo Fairley, had the pleasure of meeting the man himself, interviewing him at the launch of the first Givenchy makeup line in ’91, and recalls with a smile that ‘Hubert de Givenchy is probably the most charming and graceful man I’ve ever met.’
Today, within Givenchy‘s perfumed portfolio, you’ll find something for every fragrance-lover. The classic Véry Irrésistible, for instance – created by celebrated ‘noses’ Dominique Ropion, Carlos Benaïm and Sophie Labbé – was launched in 2003, showcased in what has become an iconic sculpted bottle. Then the feminine scent had its floral notes melded with vanilla in the Véry Irrésistible Eau de Parfum – and the rose elements played up in Véry Irrésistible L’Eau en Rose.
For further reading and to learn more about Hubert de Givenchy’s incredible life, turn to our page dedicated to Givenchy and in the meantime, we urge you to seek out one of the many fabulous fragrances and take a moment to appreciate his legacy…
Hubert de Givenchy, 1927 – 2018. R.I.P.
Written by Suzy Nightingale