Hubert de Givenchy, the founder of the fashion house bearing his name, has died aged 91. The French aristocrat – full name Count Hubert James Marcel Taffin de Givenchy – died in his sleep on Saturday at the Renaissance chateau near Paris that he shared with his partner and fellow designer Philippe Venet, his family announced on Monday.
The designer, who founded the house of Givenchy in 1952, was perhaps best known for the success of “the little black dress” and his work dressing close friend and muse Audrey Hepburn; they famously worked together on her films including Breakfast at Tiffany’s, Sabrina and Funny Face.
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Throughout his career the designer worked with some of the world’s most stylish women – from Princess Grace of Monaco to Wallis Simpson and Jackie Kennedy – who were all attracted to his classic, elegant designs that celebrated the female form.
After 33 years of running his label independently, Givenchy eventually sold it to luxury conglomerate LVMH in 1988 for $45 million, reports WWD. He later stepped down as head of design in 1995. Since his departure, a string of impressive designers have taken up the helm of the label, including Alexander McQueen, John Galliano, Riccardo Tisci and, most recently, Clare Waight Keller, the house’s first female creative director.
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This article originally appeared on Harper’s BAZAAR UK.