The mere mention of the name Givenchy conjures up images of the world’s sartorial elite strolling along the banks of the Seine. The fashion house Givenchy has been making luxury goods and products since they were formed 60 years ago in Paris. French designer Hubert de Givenchy founded the Givenchy brand in 1952 and he soon became the original ‘bad boy’ of fashion. The brand rose to prominence in the late 1950s thanks to the patronage of Audrey Hepburn who wore Givenchy garments in several of her iconic film roles. It’s difficult to conceive of a more iconic star; Hepburn’s endorsement of Givenchy made a huge impact on the fashion label’s success early in its life.
Givenchy’s first collection was called Les Séparables and it created some impressive skirts and blouses made from raw cotton. This first collection made Givenchy instantly successful, with Vogue, The New York Times, and numerous other big publishers singing its praises. It’s really hard to achieve such instant success in the fashion industry; Givenchy started as they intended to continue… Despite its overnight success, Givenchy only achieved its true super stardom several years later, when Audrey Hepburn began wearing its designs (including the iconic Givenchy sunglasses in Breakfast in Tiffany’s).
In the 70s, Givenchy expanded its collections to include menswear and called it Gentlemen Givenchy. The brand stayed true to its austere sense of sophistication and its foray into the men’s fashion world was incredibly successful. It was also during this time that Givenchy expanded its collections to include accessories, jewellery, table wear, etc. The Givenchy Inc showrooms opened up on New York’s famous Fifth Avenue in 1976.
In recent years some of the most prestigious fashion designers have spent part of their careers at the French fashion house. Givenchy has been a stopping off point for some huge names in the fashion industry, such as John Galliano (who subsequently went on to Dior) and the late British designer Alexander McQueen. These star names have helped to keep Givenchy at the forefront of world fashion — a position Givenchy is showing no signs of giving up anytime soon! Even HRH Meghan Markle opted for a breath taking Givenchy wedding gown for her nuptials to Prince Harry. Givenchy’s design pedigree is second to none; it is known for haute couture fashion, accessories and eyewear — all with a strong emphasis on understatement and sophistication. Within Givenchy’s wider collection, it’s the brand’s range of eyewear that regularly receives the most praise.
Givenchy sunglasses have been iconic since Audrey Hepburn wore them in Breakfast at Tiffany’s – which is perhaps her most well-known role. Hepburn’s character (Holly Golightly) is arguably one of the most famous characters in the history of film and the oversized subtle cat-eye design came from Givenchy! This makes Givenchy the originator of one of the most iconic sunglass designs ever and this gave the brand a sense of fashion-conscious cool that remains with them today.