"The New York Times called this collection, which the 6'6" dark-haired did at just 24 years old, "one of the most phenomenal debuts in the Paris couture". Unlike the decorative work at Dior, Givenchy's designs were innovative and chic, which set the fashion template for women in the 1950s and 1960s. In 1945, Givenchy left his home in Paris to enter the prestigious École des Beaux-Arts in Paris in 1945 at the age of 17. He died in his sleep, in his own house near Paris.
His 40-year friendship with Hepburn also landed his iconic looks in the 1957 musical "Funny Face" and 1966 comedy, "How to Steal a Million".
But none were as close to him or the fashion house that bore his name as Hepburn, whose simple chic became a kind of shorthand for the label.
Givenchy often told interviewers: "Balenciaga taught me everything I know". "Then the rest wasn't so tough anymore".
"To dress a woman is to make her attractive", Givenchy once said. He is also known for outfitting American Royalty, First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy. This gave the woman the freedom to choose. It meant stylish women could mix and match tops and jackets with skirts and pants, creating their own style, rather than following a head-to-toe look dictated by the designer. The collection he markedly took quite the departure from other designers in putting an emphases on separates, and at the time he was only in his mid-twenties.
Givenchy branched out into menswear soon after opening his fashion house, and in 1970 he began designing furnishing fabrics. In 1988, he sold his company to the luxury brand LVMH. "He is far more than a couturier, he is a creator of personality", Hepburn once said of her friend, who was at her bedside at the end of her life in Switzerland.
His family has requested donations in lieu of flowers be made in his memory to UNICEF, a charity that Hepburn worked tirelessly for.