A. Background of the designer.
Hubert de Givenchy was born on February 20, 1927 in Beauvais, France. When he was young his father died, leaving him to be raised by his mother and grandfather. His wealthy family never approved of Givenchy’s love for fashion and instead wanted him to attend college and pursue a career in law. Eventually he attended college achieving his career in law but realized his love for fabrics and fashion was stronger (In influential fashion, 2002).
Givenchy’s love for fashion grew when at the age of ten he attended the Pavillon d’ Elegance Paris Exposition. Once looking through Vogue magazine, he was inspired by Balenciaga men’s wear. He wanted to be a couturier and attended Ecole des Beaux-Arts in Paris, to start a formal education in fashion. His designing inspirations came from Elsa Schiaparelli and Madam Gres’s work. His experience also came from working at the House of Piguet in Paris; this salon was known for its dramatic yet simple style and after, at the House of Lelong that was known for their high quality clothing. Those positions gave him knowledge on how to work with couture customers and gave him an opportunity to build strong relationships with them (Press, 2002).
At age 25 he opened his first collection and it was a big success, inspired by his mentor Balenciaga. The collection was based on evening wear as well as economical white cotton shirts that were both inexpensive and fresh-looking. After that collection, his name was recognizable and his biggest success was the “Bettina” blouse; named after the famous Paris’ top model. This blouse was his signature piece in his cotton collection. Givenchy’s philosophy was: “Keep it simple. Eliminate everything that interferes with the line.” (In influential fashion, p.127) (Fashion designers,1999)
B. The market segments that the designer targets
Most of Givenchy’s designs appealed to young famous women ranging from there late twenties to early forties. His clients list included social elites such as Audrey Hepburn, Elizabeth Taylor, Wallis Warfield Simpson, and Jacqueline Kennedy. Givenchy designed for a lot of Hollywood movies and his most admired actress was Audrey Hepburn.
Givenchy and Audrey Hepburn first met in 1953 and became friends when she first came to his fitting for one of her films. When they met he was in the middle of designing his new collection and let her chose anything that she liked for the movie’s wardrobe. Hepburn knew what suited her style and due to this, her rendering of some designs later became one of the most popular styles in fashion. Everybody knows the “little black dress” that she wore for her movie “Breakfast at Tiffany’s.” Films that he designed for her where “Sabrina”, “Funny Face”, and “Breakfast at Tiffany’s” and later, when they became friends, he also designed for her personal wardrobe. Hepburn thought of Givenchy to be one of the most important and influential people in her life. “The fashions designed by...