Count Hubert James Marcel Taffin de Givenchy was born in Beauvais, a city north of Paris, where his grandfather was the manager of the venerable tapestry workshops in Beauvais and Gobelins. Sir. de Givenchy chose fashion design as a career, and while working for Elsa Schiaparelli after World War II, he fell in love with Mr. Venet, a co-assistant. They moved in together, and subsequently they each opened their own couture house. Sir. de Givenchy created her international reputation by dressing Audrey Hepburn for her film roles, most notably “Breakfast at Tiffany’s” in 1961.
The American philanthropist Catherine Blair, known as Deeda, met Mr. of Givenchy in the early 1960s. She wore a dress from Balenciaga and a veil from Givenchy when she married William McCormick Blair, the US Ambassador to Denmark, in 1961 and became a devoted Givenchy customer. At the time, Mr. de Givenchy and Mr. The friend lived on Rue Fabert, “with a Rothko on the wall and dark, dark screens on the ceiling and books all over the coffee table,” said Mrs. Blair remembered.
“Hubert was already successful,” she said. “And he was already collecting perfection. There was never anything banal. There was never anything ordinary. Their apartment was small but huge, complete, scientific perfection and very original. If I were to describe Hubert in one word, I would say disciplined. “
Sometime in the mid-1980s, Mr. de Givenchy told Mrs. Blair, he had fallen in love with a house. “He said, ‘It’s the house of my dreams, and it’s very big,’ and I said, ‘Oh, Hubert, I would love to see it.’ And one could not believe that such a thing had survived the revolution. But there it was. He knew exactly what he wanted with it. He had a perfect idea of where furniture should go, where they should fall in the world. That house was his big, store love. “
“All his sofas were made by Maison Decour, Rolls-Royce of comfortable sofas,” said Susan Gutfreund, who along with her husband, John Gutfreund, CEO of Salomon Brothers Investment Bank, owned the apartment on the west side of the Paris property. Mrs. Gutfreund preferred “the wonderful velvet chairs with tiger print.”