Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Givenchy – The Man and the Brand that made Audrey Hepburn it’s Muse

By Mandy Heth, Owner of Vintage Baubles & Bits

Vintage jewelry has class, style and grace and no one represents those attributes as well as the lovely Audrey Hepburn.  Givenchy, the man, got his start on the couture scene in Paris, studying under greats  such as Jacques Fath and Lucian Lelong in the 1940s.  Hepburn captured the eye and imagination of Hubert de Givenchy a French designer, who created luxurious pieces of clothing and built an empire on the pillars of fashion, form and wearability. 

1970s Enamel Earrings at VintageMeet Modern

Amongst all the high-class, extraordinary designers Givenchy stood out. He realized that the Paris couture scene could be dialed down for the masses, without losing its flair and uniqueness, and made accessible to all women.  He's given credit as the first designer to come up with a luxury ready-to-wear line that he created in 1954.

Givenchy Hinged Rhinestone Bracelet from ElseWind

It was during this time that he met the fashion-forward Hepburn on the set of Sabrina and they developed a fashion relationship that would last 40 years till her death in 1993. Hepburn served as his muse, helping him to develop trends that would become part of his signature style. Givenchy also designed for Lauren Bacall and former first lady, Jackie Kennedy.

In the late 1960s and early 70s he realized that his brand had value and he began to apply it to other products like jewelry, linens and shoes. It’s this time period that the majority of the jewelry from Givenchy was produced. Every piece of Givenchy is marked with a signature hallmark,  as seen in seen in this bracelet from VintageObjectsShoppe.  Four G’s are in a square pattern with GIVENCHY in all caps with a trademark symbol. Be sure to look for these marks when you’re selecting Givenchy pieces, anything other than these either indicates that it’s not a Givenchy piece, or that it is part of a collaboration from later in Givenchy’s career, like the Givenchy – Bijoux mark, making the piece newer.

Givenchy took a new direction in the 1980s  and began working for Louis Vuitton. Though he no longer owned his own company, products were still developed under the Givenchy brand and Hubert continued to be a part of the design process up until his retirement in 1995. Today, at age 87,  Hubert de Givenchy no longer manages the company he built from the ground up, but Audrey Hepburn remains a stunning icon of Givenchy style.

Discover all the classic Givenchy designs from members 
of the Vintage Jewelry Sellers on Etsy team.

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