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Love is in the air.
In fashion, there have been countless love affairs – some scandalous and shocking, others romantic and classic. Designers are lucky if they find a muse; they form a special connection and forge a new path in the fashion world.
The most timeless designer/muse duo is undoubtedly Audrey Hepburn and Hubert de Givenchy.
This designer and Hollywood actress made history in both the film and fashion industries. Pictured together in 1985; Image from Harper’s Bazaar
Their first film together was Sabrina in 1954; they had no idea what the decades ahead would bring. Their relationship continued to grow during the making of the film Funny Face in 1957. When recalling this time, Givenchy fondly remembers their new friendship, and the synergy they possessed: “’There [was never] any criticism of the other person, no upsets’” (Beyfus, 2015).
Hepburn in Givenchy’s beautiful black and white creation for the film Sabrina; Getty Images; Image from Harper’s Bazaar.
The duo’s careers continued to blossom through the beautiful fashion they were creating. When Givenchy introduced his version of the Little Black Dress on Hepburn in Breakfast at Tiffany’s (1961), the world changed forever (Friedman, 2018).
Behind the scenes of Breakfast at Tiffany’s; Hepburn in Givenchy’s “Little Black Dress”; Getty Images; Image from Harper’s Bazaar.
Their relationship wasn’t about money, or status – it was two people that genuinely connected spiritually, and through their style (Friedman, 2018). By using Hepburn as his muse, Givenchy created the brand imagery of luxury, grace and elegance. Givenchy says that he always appreciated Hepburn’s taste and her love for simplicity (Beyfus, 2015).
Hepburn and Givenchy show off their close friendship in 1964 in Paris; Credit to Keystone-France/Gamma-Keystone, via Getty Images; Image from NY Times
To cement this relationship even further, when Givenchy created his first signature perfume, L’Interdit, he created it exclusively with Hepburn in mind. She didn’t just promote the scent, she was the scent (Friedman, 2018). For reasons such as these, Givenchy’s legacy became synonymous with Hepburn’s.
Hepburn always wore Givenchy on red carpets and to award shows; she even wore his mod-inspired design for her second wedding in 1969.
Wedding bells in Givenchy!; Getty Images; Image from NY Times
This pair was unique back in the day, but they are even rarer today. To be motivated purely by inspiration and be so dependent on another individual (celebrity, or the brand itself) is something that is happening much lesser. Audrey and Hubert had a passion for collaborating that left behind epic creations. It’s difficult to tell if there will ever be a couple like them again (Friedman, 2018).
Givenchy will be forever defined by his “muse.”
Audrey in fittings with Givenchy in Paris; Getty Images; Image from NY Times.
No matter what you see this Valentine’s Day, remember this: Audrey Hepburn and Hubert de Givenchy were #COUPLEGOALS!
Hepburn makes a statement in a bright fuchsia gown designed by Givenchy at the 8th Annual Night of Stars Fashion Festival in New York, 1991; Image from Harper’s Bazaar.