French fashion icon Givenchy dead at 91, reports say

20 2010 French fashion designer aristocrat and founder of Fashion label Givenchy Hubert de Givenchy poses before a speech at Oxford University Union Oxfordshire

French fashion icon Givenchy dead at 91, reports say

Fashion designer Hubert de Givenchy has died at the age of 91, the Los Angeles Times reports.

"Hubert de Givenchy was a symbol of Parisian elegance for more than half a century. who revolutionised fashion", his label said Monday.

A portrait taken on March 1, 1987 shows French fashion designer Hubert de Givenchy cutting printed material with scissors at the office of his fashion home in Paris. "He will be greatly missed".

"Not only was he one of the most influential fashion figures of our time, whose legacy still influences modern day dressing", wrote Givenchy artistic director Clare Waight Keller on his passing, "but he also was one of the chicest most charming men I have ever met".

It was Givenchy's 40-year friendship with Hepburn, whom he met on the set of the Billy Wilder Oscar-winning comedy "Sabrina" in 1953, that helped make him a fashion legend.

Born February 21, 1927, Givenchy founded the House of Givenchy in 1952.

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Givenchy's name will forever conjure images of timeless designs worn by some of the world's most lovely women including Princess Grace of Monaco, Bunny Mellon, and the Duchess of Windsor. The designer was known for styling his muse and British actress Hepburn.

Yet two decades on his restrained style still informs the way Britain's Queen Elizabeth II and older American and Chinese socialites dress.

"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", according to a statement released by LVMH.

Givenchy built up one of the largest and most successful fashion businesses in history, and headed it until it was sold in the 1980s. In 1958, he created the iconic Ballon coat and the Baby Doll dress. The men's line was launched in 1969.

After selling his empire to Louis Vuitton Moët Hennessey (LVMH) in 1988, Givenchy continued to work until 1995. It went on to acquire Givenchy Parfumes later too.

He was replaced by John Galliano, who was soon to leave for Dior, handing over to fellow Brit Alexander McQueen.

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