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Givenchy (French pronunciation: [ʒivɑ̃ʃi]) is a French brand of clothing, accessories, perfumes and cosmetics with Parfums Givenchy.

The house of Givenchy was founded in 1952 by designer Hubert de Givenchy and is a member of Chambre Syndicale de la Haute Couture et du Pret-a-Porter. It is owned by luxury goods behemoth LVMH and in 1993 achieved a total sales worth of $176 million, making it the second largest apparel division of LVMH after Dior.

Contents

Under Hubert de Givenchy, 1952-1995

During his reign as the designer of the label bearing his name, Hubert de Givenchy was known for his modern, ladylike styles, which earned him many loyal clients. The most famous patron of the brand was Audrey Hepburn in films such as Sabrina, for which Edith Head claimed the Academy Award, How to Steal a Million and Breakfast at Tiffany's. His other famous patrons include the Guinness, Grimaldi and Kennedy families, who famously wore Givenchy clothes to the funeral of John F. Kennedy. Hubert de Givenchy retired in 1995.

Womenswear, 1995-Present

John Galliano succeeded Givenchy upon his retirement but was in turn promoted to Christian Dior less than two years later, prompting the hiring of Alexander McQueen. In 2001, designer Julien McDonald was appointed Artistic Director for the women's lines, which consist of haute couture and ready-to-wear.

The reins for both collections were ultimately passed on to Riccardo Tisci in 2005 when he was named chief designer of womenswear. Tisci's apparent fascination with gothic touches (dark, languid dresses on sickly-looking models for fall couture) and space-age minimalism (one ready-to-wear show featured white-clad models drifting aimlessly around a sterile-white sphere) have drawn new attention to the brand. Reviews and output so far have been mixed and inconsistent, but many, including influential fashion critics (such as Cathy Horyn of the New York Times and Suzy Menkes of the International Herald Tribune) have homed in on Tisci's conceptual leanings, as well as his future potential for revitalizing the Givenchy brand and infusing it with his precision and imagination.

Menswear

Givenchy menswear was relaunched for Spring 2005 with Savile Row suitmaker Ozwald Boateng at the helm. Despite initial fanfare, Boateng was thought to have missed the high fashion mark being set by his rivals and completed his tenure at Givenchy with the Spring 2007 collection. From there the men's line seemed to drift, absent for Fall 2007 and then designed by a nameless Givenchy in-house committee for Spring and Fall 2008. For Spring 2009, the task finally fell upon womenswear designer Riccardo Tisci, who brought the sleek, darker themes prevalent in his women's collections to the traditionally more conservative menswear division.

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