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GIVENCHY

Givenchy is a French brand that is best-known for making haute-couture clothing, perfumes, accessories and cosmetics as well. Started in 1952 by French designer Hubert de Givenchy, the house of Givenchy is a member of the Chambre Syndicale de la Haute Couture et du Pret-a-Porter and is owned by the LVMH luxury group.

Hubert de Givenchy was born on 21 February 1927 in Beauvais, France. The son of a prosperous family, he attended college at Beauvais and then moved to Paris. In 1944 he took a position as an apprentice designer at the couture house of Jacques Fath while studying at the École des Beaux-Arts in Paris. In the late 1940s and early 1950s he took a series of jobs as an assistant designer-first with Fath, then with Lucien Lelong, Robert Piguet, and Elsa Schiaparelli. Givenchy's years as an assistant designer encompassed the period of the New Look and perhaps instilled in him a sense of romanticism that was to characterize his work for over four decades.

Givenchy opened his own couture house in 1951 and made an immediate mark with his design of the "Bettina blouse," a simple white cotton shirting blouse named for Fath's favorite model, Bettina Graziani. Givenchy was quickly recognized as an innovative talent for his system of designing his creations-including evening gowns-as compositions of separate and interchangeable elements.

Givenchy's style was characterized by bright cheerful colors and a youthful femininity. Yet his simple tailleurs, cocktail dresses, and evening dresses were also the height of chic, emphasizing line more than decoration. "You have to know when to stop," he once said. "That is wisdom."

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