Fashion Designer Hubert de Givenchy Dies at 91

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The fashion world has lost one of it's largest (literally) characters.

French couturier Hubert de Givenchy, a pioneer of ready-to-wear who designed Audrey Hepburn's little black dress in "Breakfast at Tiffany's", has died at the age of 91.

Born to an aristocratic family in Beauvais, France, the designer gained global fame for his work with with fashion icons such as Audrey Hepburn.

The legendary designer's longtime partner, Philippe Venet, announced his death through the house, saying Givenchy had died in his sleep.

Hepburn and Mr. Givenchy created one of the most indelible cinematic fashion moments of the 20th century in "Breakfast at Tiffany's", when her character Holly Golightly approaches the titular Fifth Avenue jeweler wearing oversize sunglasses, four strands of sparkling pearls, long evening gloves and a black Givenchy dress - a slender, shoulder-baring column - that looks startlingly out of place for the early morning hour.

The designer founded one of the world's leading fashion houses in Paris in the 1950s, before making his way to North American markets.

Givenchy lived in a Renaissance chateau near Paris.

"It is with huge sadness that we inform you that Hubert Taffin de Givenchy has died", it said in a statement to AFP.

A towering man of elegance and impeccable manners, he forged close friendships with his famous clients, from Hollywood screen sirens of the likes of Liz Taylor and Lauren Bacall to women of state, including Jackie Kennedy and Princess Grace of Monaco.

Givenchy sold his label, Givenchy Couture Group, to LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton in 1988 for $45 million after 36 years of running the company totally independently.

Alexander McQueen, John Galliano, Julien McDonald and Riccardo Tisci have taken control of Givenchy's output.

Waight Keller, at the helm of the brand since a year ago, said on her official Instagram account she is "deeply saddened by the loss of a great man and artist I have had the honor to meet".