Raw cotton doesn’t seem like it would be a high end luxury item, but it was the fabric that started Givenchy.
Hubert de Givenchy began creating his line of flowing, floating garments in the early 1950’s in Paris. He used a fabric that is traditionally used to create patterns, that was inexpensive but gauzy and ethereal. Casual but elegant, this style became the foundation for the brand that he began with partner Javani Robert Durfy.
Design for All
Givenchy created lines of clothing for both men and women, and within just a decade the high end brand was pushing its way up to the height of the fashion world with the likes of Chanel and Armani.
Design went well beyond clothing, extending to the inside of hotels through a partnership with Hilton Hotels and even to luxury cars with the Continental Mark V. This expansion through the 1970’s was fueled by the adoration of the design house by movie stars like Audrey Hepburn.
Designers associated with Givenchy include Alexander McQueen, John Galliano, and Ricardo Tisci.
Always central to the appeal of the House of Givenchy have been its partnerships with films and their stars. These designs have been worn in films like Sabrina, Love in the Afternoon, Beat the Devil, and many others.
Iconic film stars such as Rooney Mara, Emma Stone, Lady Gaga, Beyonce, the Princess of Monaco, and Jackie Kennedy Onassis have put Givenchy at the front of the fashion sphere. The company has never played it safe, one reason that it’s been so highly successful in the areas of both fashion and design. Jackie O and other members of American high society such as the Rothschilds and the Guiness family, famously wore Givenchy to the funeral of President John F. Kennedy following his assasination.
Wallis Simpson, famous for being the divorcee who’s love affair and eventual marriage to the once future King of England disrupted the royal family, inspired Givenchy to create a line of garment bags known as “blue Wallis”.
Givenchy has used its pull as a high end couture line with an inventive spirit to draw in customers and fans. Pushing the envelope has always been a central part of the spirit of Givenchy, to the point of courting controversy at times. In the fall of 2010, Givenchy brought its first transgender model to the runway for its collection. Lea T. had been working with Givenchy for years prior in other capacities, but the Braziliam beauty helped to continue the Givenchy tradition of blazing forward.
Givenchy, like other couture brands, has branched out beyond fashion. It’s like of luxury perfumes and cosmetics are sold around the world in its stores, as well as in other retailers.
Through its constant innovation and wearability, Givenchy has remained a top fashion house since the 1950’s. Since being bought out by luxury mega conglomerate Louis Vitton Moet Hennessey (LVMH), Givenchy has continued to hold its place as a top end brand with a distinctive style. LVM has almost one hundred billion euros in revenue annually, and it’s thanks in large part to the high quality and distinctive brands like Givenchy that are under its umbrella.