Givenchy is a line of clothing, accessories, perfumes and cosmetics. It was founded in 1952 by designer Hubert de Givenchy, who retired in 1995. John Galliano succeeded him as designer, but he was later replaced by Alexander McQueen. In 2001, designer Julien McDonald was appointed Artistic Director for the women's lines, while in 2003 Ozwald Boateng was appointed the designer for the men's range. Clothing lines include haute couture as well as ready-to-wear men's and women's fashions. The reins for both haute couture and women's ready-to-wear were ultimately passed on to Riccardo Tisci in 2005 when he was named chief designer of womenswear. A graduate of London's Central Saint Martin's Academy (fellow alums include Alexander McQueen, John Galliano of Dior women's, Stella McCartney, and Phoebe Philo of Chloe), Tisci's apparent fascination with gothic touches -- dark, languid dresses on sickly models for fall couture -- and space-age minimalism -- one ready-to-wear show featured white-clad models drifting aimlessly around a sterile-white sphere -- have drawn new attention to the brand. Reviews and output so far have been mixed and inconsistent, but many, including influential fashion critics (such as Cathy Horyn of the New York Times and Suzy Menkes of the International Herald Tribune) have honed in on Tisci's conceptual leanings, as well as his future potential for revitalizing the Givenchy brand and infusing it with his precision and imagination.
The most famous patron of the brand was Audrey Hepburn in films such as How to Steal a Million and Breakfast at Tiffany's. Other famous patrons include the Kennedy family, who famously wore Givenchy clothes to the funeral of J.F.K.
Givenchy is a member of Chambre Syndicale de la Haute Couture et du Pret-a-Porter. Like Dior, the company is owned by the European luxury goods giant, LVMH. In 1993, Givenchy achieved a total sales worth of $176 million, making it the second largest apparel division of LVMH after Dior.