Fashion icon, Hubert de Givenchy, passes on at 91

Sunset Boulevard via Getty Images                   British actress Audrey Hepburn with French fashion designer Hubert de Givenchy in his workshop in Paris

The black sheath dress he made for the opening scenes of the Breakfast at Tiffany's was perhaps the most famous "little black dress" of all time - although fellow Paris fashion legend Coco Chanel is credited with inventing the garment.

He had moved on to designing for several major fashion houses including Robert Piguet, Lucien Lelong and Elsa Schiaparelli. He maintained low overhead costs to keep down the prices of his designs.

Givenchy dressed Audrey Hepburn and Jackie Kennedy and is famous for the "little black dress".

The friendship between Givenchy and Hepburn endured for 40 years, and helped cement his place in fashion - and cinema - history. "You must never upset it, if you want the material to speak", he said. "He is far more than a couturier, he is a creator of personality", Hepburn once said of him. He would design her suits and woolen dresses for the musical amusing face in 1957.

USA first lady Jacqueline Kennedy adopted the Givenchy look for her White House years, sticking to a uniform of shift dresses, pillbox hats and low-heeled pumps.

Hubert de Givenchy in 2002.

Hulton Archive via Getty Images                   Mid 1980s
Hulton Archive via Getty Images Mid 1980s

Designer Hubert de Givenchy, pictured with the model Iman in 2002, was a giant of French fashion.

The designer's death was confirmed by his partner Philippe Venet to AFP News, BBC reports.

The tale of Givenchy and Hepburn's first meeting and subsequent designer-muse relationship has been told and retold countless times, at anniversary exhibitions of the designer's work, at the time of Hepburn's death in 1993, and again in 2014, when Givenchy dedicated a book of sketches to Hepburn, To Audrey with Love.

"Everyone wants to look attractive and at least I feel handsome when I'm in his clothes and they give me great confidence", Hepburn, who died in 1993, said of his work.

He liked to call himself the "eternal apprentice", forever seeking new inspiration and ideas.

The Givenchy label was sold to the LVMH luxury group in 1988 but Givenchy remained head of creative design for seven years. He believed in beauty and he left us a more lovely world. "He was among those designers who placed Paris firmly at the heart of world fashion post 1950 while creating a unique personality for his own fashion label", Arnault writes. "I hope you can now reunite with your teacher Balenciaga".

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