'Little black dress' designer Hubert de Givenchy dies aged 91

Hubert de Givenchy with audrey hepburn

Givenchy is survived by his partner, couturier Philippe Venet, and his nieces and nephews and their children. His company released a statement Morning confirming his death.

Givenchy dressed Audrey Hepburn and Jackie Kennedy and is famous for the "little black dress".

Hubert de Givenchy in 2002. "He revolutionized worldwide fashion in creating the timeless looks for Audrey Hepburn, his friend and muse for more than 40 years", said the label in a statement released by LVMH.

The designer founded one of the world's leading fashion houses in Paris in the 1950s, before making his way to North American markets. Besides the little black dress from the 1961 hit "Breakfast at Tiffany's", Hepburn wore Givenchy's designs in almost a dozen other movies, as well on the red carpet and also in real life.

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"It was an enormous help to know help to know that I looked the part". Hepburn inspired Givenchy's first perfume collections, an important moneymaker for the brand, and became the first celebrity to star in a fragrance campaign, which she in fact posed for for free.

Givenchy was 25 when he opened his design house in 1952, and met Hepburn the next year after she was cast in "Sabrina".

Claire Waight Keller, who has been at the helm of the brand since previous year, paid tribute to Givenchy as "one of the most influential fashion figures of our time".

"The definition of a true gentleman, that will stay with me forever".

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In addition to Hepburn, prominent figures including Elizabeth Taylor, Princess Grace of Monaco and Jacqueline Kennedy also called Givenchy a favorite.

Givenchy entered the world of fashion in 1944 at the age of 17, training under Parisian designer Jacques Fath.

Givenchy ready-to-wear collection debuted in 1954, and de Givenchy went on to create the iconic "Balloon coat" and the "Baby Doll" dress in 1958.

In 1988, Mr Givenchy sold his design label to the French luxury goods conglomerate LVMH for US$46 million.

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Since then the label has attracted a stellar list of designer talents including John Galliano, Alexander McQueen and Riccardo Tisci.

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