Tuesday, December 19, 2017

The House of Givenchy

A Change at the Top

This year Clare Waight Keller, an English-born designer. was hired by Philippe Fortunato, chief executive of Givenchy, to become the first woman to hold the position of Artistic Director of women’s and men” ready-to-wear, haute couture and accessory collections.

Hubert de Givenchy  was a student of the Beaux-Arts, studying and working with other famous designers at a time when noted fashion houses  used their designs as  property of the “company”.  Young designers , in order to gain recognition,  began creating collections of their own and showing their collections at various venues much smaller in scale than the lavish “fashion week” showings offered by the “big” houses.

In 1952 Givenchy founded and launched a collection called “Les Separables”, the first designer to create luxury ready-to-wear. The collection received great acclaim from sources such as Vogue, NY times and Album du Figaro.  It was at this time when middle class buyers were demanding high quality and the same fashion aesthetic accorded to couture clothing, which was, of course, sold at a much greater price point.  Realizing the potential of this new purchasing market would change the face of international fashion as it was known at the time.  Fashion houses were being combined under the auspices of financial entrepreneurs, commonly called “kings”, and the pressure was now profit driven.

In 1969 the House of Givenchy developed a fashion line for men and further diversified with shoes, jewelry, table wear and upholstery and in !976 established their flagship store in New York on 5th Avenue. 

In 1988 Givenchy joined the powerful and influential LVMH (Louis Vitton, Moet and Hensley).

Hubert retired from  the company in 1995.

Interlink Books, Northampton, MA, 2014

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