The first Givenchy store opened its doors in 1952, the brainchild of owner Hubert de Givenchy.
To trace the origins of this event though however, it is necessary that we step back a few years in time. Givenchy was born in 1927 in France. At the age 10, having shown a flair for fashion from an early age, he attended the World's Fair in Paris. Leaving the Pavilion of Elegance and filled with awe by the beauty of the gowns and models of the prominent Fashion Houses his decision to become a fashion designer was cemented.
Following the Allies liberation of France towards the end of World War II, Givenchy relocated to Paris. One of his first mentors was Jacques Fath, who along with Christian Dior and Pierre Balmain was considered as one of the major influences on the postwar fashion industry.
His training continued under the expert guidance of Robert Piquet and Lucien Lelong. When in 1947, Elsa Schiaparelli appointed him to manage her boutiques on Place Vendôme, his entrance into the world of high fashion was secured.
Indeed, 5 years later in 1952, Givenchy opened his own Maison de Couture at No8, rue Alfred de Vigny, on the Monceau Plain and won instant acclaim with the release of his very first collection.
Meeting the famous Audrey Hepburn in 1953 was a fateful event for Givenchy. Hepburn eventually became both an ambassador for the Givenchy brand, and a life long friend.
Givenchy's associations with masters of the industry continued. The influence of his friendship with Cristobal Balenciaga, for example, is reflected in many of the Givenchy collections.
In 1954, Givenchy became the first designer to present a collection of luxury women's ready to wear clothing. Among his many contributions to the fashion world were the "Bag Dress", the "Enveloped Dress" and the funnelled collar coat. His work was both audacious and elegant. Some of his most original designs were of printed textiles, inspired by Miro, Matisse and Christian Berard.
Givenchy continued to diversify and in 1973 released the "Gentleman Givenchy" menswear line. In 1987 Givenchy joined the French luxury group LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton, along with other prestigious names like Dior, Louis Vuitton, Christian Lacroix and Céline.
Following his retirement in 1995, Givenchy was succeeded by several acclaimed young designers namely: John Galliano (January 1996), Alexander McQueen (October 1996), Julien MacDonald (March 2001) and Riccardo Tisci (March 2005).
The Givenchy Brand continues to be revered Internationally as the "Ultimate in Chic".