There are a handful of industry titans whose work is so enduring, so emblematic it supersedes the person: Frank Lloyd Wright for example, Basquiat, Georgia O’Keefe. When they die we’re left with legend and relics, leaving us to wonder who they were, actually, what they thought, and how they navigated things.
I was thinking about this today, wrestling with how to pay homage to Givenchy, the storied couturier who famously dressed Audrey Hepburn on and off camera, Jackie O, and Wallis Simpson. In an attempt to fill gaps between person and persona, here are some quotes of Givenchy on Givenchy:
On Faith: "I absolutely believe my talent is God-given. I ask God for a lot, but I also thank him. I’m a very demanding believer.”
Mentors: “Balenciaga was my religion…Since I’m a believer…there’s Balenciaga and the good Lord.”
Design Philosophy: “The dress must follow the body of a woman, not the body following the shape of the dress.”
On Luxury: "Luxury is in each detail."
His Relationship with Audrey Hepburn: “It was a kind of marriage. Little by little, our friendship grew and with it a confidence in each other. There [was never] any criticism of the other person, no upsets.”
...And Finally: "Be a gentleman anytime, anywhere."