If you’re a fan of Givenchy, then you’ll probably have heard of the Givenchy Gentleman line.
Givenchy Gentleman is a ready-to-wear clothing line for men by courtier Hubert de Givenchy, and set forward the path for Givenchy.
But where did Givenchy Gentleman come from? And when in Givenchy’s timeline was the line launched?
Keep reading to learn more about Givenchy - when it was founded, what it’s known for, and of course, more about the Givenchy Gentleman line.
Givenchy - A Brief Background
You may know Givenchy for their stylish and groundbreaking little black dress and their luxury fragrances, but there’s much more to the Givenchy story than that.
Givenchy is known for its stylish and popular haute-couture clothes, accessories, perfumes and cosmetics, as well as its association with icon Audrey Hepburn and countless other celebrities throughout the years - more recently Meghan Markle on her wedding day to Prince Harry.
The luxury brand was first founded back in 1952 by Hubert James Taffin de Givenchy, simply known as Hubert de Givenchy.
We’ll go into more detail about Hubert de Givenchy later on, but for now, we’ll stick to the brand Givenchy.
After apprenticing at another fashion house, Givenchy decided that he wanted to move on and create his own modern and current style, which led to him creating the Givenchy house.
His iconic collection ‘The Separates’ quickly launched with the help of his team and was instantly popular. Critics and fashion lovers alike loved the flowing skirts and elegant blouses (the Bettina blouse was extremely popular) made using simple materials.
Givenchy’s designs were considered groundbreaking and freed women from the conservative and ‘frumpy’ looks of the time. After the first collection was launched, Givenchy became a brand to look out for.
At the time, Givenchy gave women the option to mix and match skirts, and wear free and practical clothing. The designs were considered fresh, and even kickstarted the era of slim silhouettes and slender hips.
In 1955, Givenchy popularised the shirt dress, which became a staple piece for women all around - it was practical, comfortable, and stylish. Before Givenchy’s designs came along, women found themselves compromising between style, comfort, and practicality.
A year after the brand launch, Givenchy became fast friends with Audrey Hepburn. Hepburn wore Givenchy pieces for Sabrina - a rom-com move in which she played the leading role. This was just the start of many collaborations between the pair, and Givenchy even designed his hit 1957 perfume L'Interdit for her.
Givenchy is a member of the Chambre Syndicale de la Haute Couture et du Pret a Porter. Back in 1988, Givenchy fell under the LVMH umbrella which tied it to Christian Dior, Marc Jacobs, Stella McCarney, and other luxury brands.
After a career of over 40 years, Givenchy retired in 1995 - and was succeeded by some of the world's greatest designers, including Galliano, Alexander McQueen, Julien MacDonald, Riccardo Tiscki, and Clare Waight Keller.
Givenchy peacefully passed away in 2018 in the city he loved the most - Paris, at the old age of 91. Givenchy left behind a legacy that will never be forgotten - from popularising the little black dress, creating signature scents, designing pieces of the one and only Audrey Hepburn, and of course, the Givenchy Gentleman line.
Where Did Givenchy Gentleman Come From?
Givenchy Gentleman is said to be inspired by Givenchy himself. Hubert de Givenchy loved fashion from an early age, and even moved to Paris from Beauvais to study at École Nationale Supérieure des Beaux-Arts (The French National School of Fine Art).
Before founding Givenchy, Hubert de Givenchy undertook an apprenticeship at the Jacques Fath fashion house. After completing his apprenticeship with French fashion designer Jacques Fath, Givenchy moved on to work at different fashion houses. In 1946, Givenchy worked with Robert Piguet, and then in 1947, he worked with Lucien Lelong and Elsa Schiaparelli. After working with Elsa Schiaparelli, he became an artistic director at Schiaparelli Boutique at the Place Vendôme.
Givenchy was passionate about men’s fashion early on, and began by launching his first men’s scents in 1959 - ‘Eau de Vetyver’ and ‘Monsieur de Givenchy’.
However, the ready-to-wear men’s line ‘Givenchy Gentleman’ didn’t launch until 1969 - just one year after the women’s ready-to-wear line ‘Givenchy Nouvelle Boutique’. The Givenchy Gentleman line was launched for the elegant men out there - men that cared about their appearance, and wanted to look smart and sophisticated.
In fact, The Givenchy Gentleman line became a steady reference in men’s fashion, and further solidified the Givenchy name.
Givenchy combined masculine elegance with ease and naturally, classicism. The launch of Givenchy Gentleman steered the brand into a more inclusive direction, and the change was well received by men all around.
A few years later, the Givenchy Gentleman scent was introduced - and became one of the most popular Givenchy perfumes of all time. Even today, you can still buy variations of the popular scent.
Givenchy Gentleman Perfume
The Givenchy Gentleman perfume was launched in the mid 1970’s, and is still a staple scent for thousands of men. However, in 2021, there are more variations of the traditional Givenchy Gentleman scent.
The fragrance features woody scents, with notes of cinnamon, tarragon, rose, bergamot, and lemon. Some middle notes that you may be able to notice include orris root, jasmine, cedar, and patchouli - and some lower base notes include leather, civet, oakmoss, vetiver, vanilla, amber, and musk.
The scent is the epitome of class and sophistication, and was easily recognisable back in the 70’s, and is still equally as distinguishable to this day.