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Thursday, December 11, 2008


French Elegance and American Glamour

The House of Givenchy was founded in 1952 and was the brainchild of Hubert de Givenchy . A friendship forged with Hollywood sweetheart, Audrey Hepburn would spur the fashion house into the limelight of the world. The house dubs the “Givenchy style” as a fusion of two cultures, “French elegance and American glamour.” Its perfume house, Les Parfums Givenchy was launched in 1957.

Hubert came from a wealthy family and was intrgued by all aspects of fashion from a very young age. He studied fashion at the prestigious Ecole de Beaux Arts in Paris and released his first designs in 1945 for fashion legend, Jacques Fath, who was a family friend. By 1952, at the age of 25, Hubert opened his own design house and became one of Paris' youngest designers.

The first perfumes launched by Les Parfums Givenchy debuted in 1957. They include Le De Givenchy and L'Interdit for which Audrey Hepburn was a muse. The perfume was discontinued in the USA and reintroduced in 2002. The original fragrance included notes of bergamont, aldehydes, fruit, jasmine, iris, rose and amber. The reformulated version was designed by Jean Guichard and Olivier Gillotin. It retains the original's fruity-floral side.

In 1981 The House of Givenchy was sold. The fashion house going to Louis Vuitton Moet Hennessy (LMVH) and Les Parfums Givenchy going to Veuve Clicquot. Today, LMVH also owns that perfume house.

Givenchy's first fragrance for men was released in 1959, Monsieur de Givenchy. Givenchy Pour Homme, released in 2002 was another addition to the masculine range. In 2005 Very Irresistable for Men was launched following the release of its women's counterpart, Very Irresistable, in 2003 for which Liv Tyler was the poster girl. The men's version was designed by Pierre Wargnye and includes notes of mocha, mint, grapefruit, sesame seed, cedar and hazel wood.

More recently Givenchy has continued to add to the Very Irresistable range. In 2006 Very Irresistable Summer was released and 2007 Givenchy Very Irresistable Soleil D'Ete and Very Irresistable Attitude made their debut. Other recent releases include Givency Les Millesimes and Absolutely Givenchy.

Givenchy was born from a wealthy background, it is no wonder that it has continued to be associated with socialites such as Audrey Hepburn and Liv Taylor. It is a classy brand whose primary concern was to provide the world with luxury. The fashion and perfume house's vision has been realized as it is nothing less than the perfect blend of “French elegance and American glamour.”


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