Givenchy, Hubert (James Taffin) de
- Ann Poulson
(b Beauvais, Feb 20, 1927).
French fashion designer. Givenchy is considered by many to be the last of the traditional couturiers, yet he is best known for spare, impeccably modern designs and for his long association with the actress Audrey Hepburn.
The younger son of the Marquis Taffin de Givenchy, Hubert de Givenchy was born into a wealthy Protestant family. After seeing the Pavillon de l’Elégance at the Exposition Internationale in Paris in 1937, Givenchy decided to become a couturier. Although his family would have preferred him to have become a lawyer, they eventually acquiesced and in 1945 he began work for Jacques Fath and took courses at the Ecole des Beaux Arts. In 1946 he moved on to work for Robert Piguet. In 1947 he spent six months at the house of Lucien Lelong, where he briefly succeeded Christian Dior as head designer, before settling down to work with Elsa Schiaparelli for four years, taking charge of her boutique on the Place Vendôme....