French designer Hubert de Givenchy passes away aged 91

The French fashion designer was most famous for the ‘Little Black Dress’ and styling the likes of Audrey Hepburn and Jackie Kennedy

French fashion designer Hubery de Givenchy, famous for the ‘Little Black Dress’ and styling the likes of Audrey Hepburn and Jackie Kennedy, has passed away aged 91.

His partner Philippe Venet, a former haute couture designer, confirmed the news to the AFP news agency. The pair lived in a Renaissance chateau near Paris.

"It is with huge sadness that we inform you that Hubert Taffin de Givenchy has died," he said.

The designer's nephews and nieces, and their children, share Venet's grief, his statement added.

Givenchy set the template for ladylike chic in the 1950s and 1960s, and his restrained style still informs the way the Queen and older American and Chinese socialites dress.

Hubert De Givenchy
Hubert De Givenchy

Givenchy also dressed former US first lady Jacqueline Kennedy during her time at the White House.

Givenchy was perhaps most famous for creating the iconic Little Black Dress worn by Audrey Hepburn in the opening scene of Breakfast at Tiffany's.

"It was... an enormous help to know that I looked the part... Then the rest wasn't so tough anymore. Givenchy's lovely simple clothes [gave me] the feeling of being whoever I played...," Hepburn previously said of the designer.

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

"He was the first creator to launch a luxury ready-to-wear range. He revolutionised international fashion in creating the timeless looks for Audrey Hepburn, his friend and muse for more than 40 years."

Fashion mogul Bernard Arnault, head of the giant LVMH group which now owns Givenchy, led the tributes, saying that "he was one of the creators who put Paris at the summit of world fashion in the 1950s."

Givenchy opened his own design house in Paris in 1952. The company was acquired by luxury retail giant LVMH in 1989 but Givenchy designed for the brand until his retirement in 1995.