At first glance, Audrey Hepburn (whose birthday is today!) and Kim Kardashian-West may seem like style polar opposites. Though both are household names, Hepburn evokes old Hollywood glamor, while Kardashian-West is all, er, new Hollywood glam. That’s why it might come as a surprise that the pair actually have one significant thing in common: They have a shared love of the fashion house Givenchy.
So beloved is the brand to both women, in fact, that they each wore it down the aisle (albeit 45 years apart) — Hepburn for her nuptials to second husband Andrea Dotti and Kardashian-West to wed her second husband, Kanye West.
To be sure, the label has evolved quite a bit from its Hepburn-era creations that made it famous, however. The actress first worked with founder Hubert de Givenchy on her film Sabrina and became one of the first muses for the designer. Their meteoric rises were inexorably linked to one another and, yes, that iconic black gown she wore in Breakfast at Tiffany’s is a Givenchy creation.
In later years, Givenchy referred to his relationship with Hepburn as a sort of “marriage” and told the Telegraph in an interview, “I always respected Audrey’s taste. She was not like other movie stars in that she liked simplicity.” During their years of collaboration, Givenchy was known for classically romantic looks with structured necklines and hoop skirts.
Since de Givenchy stepped down in 1995, however, there has been a revolving door of fashion legends — including John Galliano, Christian Dior, Alexander McQueen, and Julien Macdonald — who have helmed the brand’s creative design. Just earlier this year, Riccardo Tisci, who held the post since 2005, handed over the reigns to Clare Waight Keller. But it was thanks to Tisci friendship with Kardashian West that the entire Kardashian-Jenner clan became fans.
Aside from outfitting her for her wedding day, Tisci also whipped up that unforgettable floral number the reality star wore to the 2013 Met Gala. And gone are the days of hoop skirts and simplicity. Thanks to Tisci’s influence, Givenchy has plenty of modern edge: dramatic prints and dark, romantic hues.
We can’t help but wonder what the designer’s OG muse Hepburn would think of the evolution of her fave brand. But one thing’s for sure: Any fashion house that can manage to dress two iconic women with such drastically different styles surely must be doing something right.
Which Givenchy era do you like best? Audrey’s or Kim’s? Tell us over @BritandCo.
(Photos via Keystone, Neilson Barnard, Larry Busacca, + Frederick M. Brown/Getty )