12/03/2018 16:39 SAST | Updated 12/03/2018 20:33 SAST

French Fashion Designer Hubert de Givenchy Dead At 91

The couturier was perhaps best known for dressing actress Audrey Hepburn in her film “Breakfast at Tiffany’s.”

Hubert de Givenchy, the French fashion designer famous for his iconic, haute couture outfits that were worn by actress Audrey Hepburn and Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis, has died at the age of 91.

Givenchy’s partner, former haute couture designer Philippe Venet, announced his death through the Givenchy fashion house. He said Givenchy died in his sleep on Saturday, The Local reported.

PHILIPPE HUGUEN via Getty Images
French fashion designer Hubert de Givenchy, seen last year, died on Saturday.

Givenchy came to Paris from his hometown of Beauvais at age 17 to start his career. He crafted the little black dress worn by Hepburn in the opening scene of 1961′s “Breakfast at Tiffany’s,” well as other fashion-forward designs that equated his name to Parisian chic.

He opened his design house in 1952 and, after striking what would become a longtime friendship with Hepburn, designed her wardrobes for several of her films. His first perfume ― L’Interdit, released in 1957 ― was dedicated to Hepburn as well as promoted by her.

Hulton Archive via Getty Images
Actress Audrey Hepburn wears the black cocktail dress designed by French couturier Hubert de Givenchy in a promotional portrait for "Breakfast at Tiffany's."

“Everyone wants to look beautiful and at least I feel beautiful when I’m in his clothes and they give me great confidence,” Hepburn, who died in 1993, said of his work. “Which is very helpful, when you’re making a movie or have a difficult scene, at least you know you look right.”

Givenchy retired from his fashion house in 1995. In March 2017, the house named its first female artistic director, Clare Weight Keller.

Keller shared a tribute to Givenchy on her Instagram page on Monday, praising his talent and lauding him as “the definition of a true gentleman.”

“Not only was he one of the most influential fashion figures of our time, whose legacy still influences modern day dressing, but he also was one of the chicest most charming men I have ever met,” she wrote. “The definition of a true gentleman, that will stay with me forever. My deepest thoughts are with his loved ones in this difficult time.”

Notable Deaths in 2018