Count Hubert James Marcel Taffin de Givenchy founded his eponymous fashion house in Paris in 1952, having previously worked with Mr Christian Dior and for the avant-garde surrealist designer Ms Elsa Schiaparelli. Givenchy quickly became the go-to label for royalty (both Hollywood and monarchic) in search of sophisticated, aristocratic style with a strong emphasis on innovative modernity and uncluttered silhouettes. Menswear was launched in 1973 as an extension of Count Givenchy's elegant personal style, which was immortalised in photographs by the likes of Mr Irving Penn and Mr Richard Avedon.
In 2005, 10 years after the founder's retirement, the Italian designer and Central Saint Martins graduate Mr Riccardo Tisci took up the helm at Givenchy and wasted no time in reinvigorating the label, which had lost its way over the previous decade. While staying true to the brand's original ethos of elegant tailoring and clean lines, Mr Tisci's collections have won widespread critical acclaim for their cutting-edge and contemporary attitude. Combining elements of Gothic style with religious symbolism and streetwear influences, the Givenchy look is luxurious in a louche, rebellious way. "I'm writing my code for the house without destroying its history," Mr Tisci explains. "My work process at Givenchy is very intense. Day after day, we research a lot, but at the same time my approach is based on emotion and not reinterpretation."