Just a few days ago, on the second of February the well known Parisian brand, Givenchy, announced the sad departure of Riccardo Tisci – after a very successful 12 year run as the Creative Director of Givenchy.
Back in 2005, after debuting his first ‘Riccardo Tisci’ Collection for Fall 2005/2006 with an off-calendar show, his line gained a lot of attention and shortly after Tisci was given the title of Creative Director for Givenchy Women’s haute couture and ready-to-wear lines replacing Julien Macdonald. At the time he had said “I am delighted to join Givenchy and very proud to be able to bring my vision to this prestigious French haute couture house, whose history inspires me,” and then a few years later in 2008 he was additionally named as the menswear and accessories designer of the Givenchy men’s division.
Let’s take it back to the beginning of Riccardo Tisci, in 1999 he graduated from Central Saint Martins College of Art and Design, going on to work for a variety of companies such as Puma and Coccapani before signing a three-year contract with Ruffo Research. The expiration of his contract in July 2004 encouraged Tisci to spend time living in India working on his own collection which he later debuted In September 2004 during the Milan Fashion Week.
After getting appointed the creative director of Givenchy, he presented his first Givenchy Haute Couture Collection in July 2005 during the Haute Couture Fashion Week in Paris where he released a collection and since then he has continued to release collections that have modernised the Parisian fashion house and that have represented a romantic sensuality and a gothic element that intrigued a new audience and shocked all editors.
During his time at Givenchy Riccardo Tisci has accomplished a fair amount. He claims to have increased the audience saying “When I arrived we had five customers. Now we have 29.” Tisci was also responsible for some truly shocking fashion moments developing a signature look for the brand with standout hardware and a strong ‘Women presence’ on the catwalk. His always daring presentations showcased amazing craftsmanship – one dress in his spring 2015 show that had around 2,084 studs applied by hand (one word… wow) – and he frequently worked with makeup artist ‘Pat McGrath’ pushing beauty boundaries with dark lips, kiss curls and facial jewellery. His ‘daringness’ didn’t end at the catwalk though, it stretched to the red carpet and events where he created some true head turners including Kim Kardashian’s ‘sofa dress’ which became a viral ‘meme’ as well as the infamous bullfighter esque outfit worn by Madonna at the 2015 grammy awards which was lacy, figure hugging, head to toe leather and baring all.
In his time as the Givenchy creative director he brought together a ‘gang’ (so to speak) of girls known as ‘Tisci’s girls’ in the words of Candice Swanepoel after she posted a photo on instagram just the other day to say goodbye to Riccardo Tisci as the CD – the photo showed herself with other girls that were part of the ‘Tisci gang’ such as Naomi Campbell, Irina Shayk and Gisele Bundchen, all influential women who worked closely with Tisci as he released his collections.
Other than the unforgettable ‘sofa dress’ that Tisci designed for Kim K, he also (being a close friend of Kanye West) created Kim’s wedding dress back in 2015 when she married Kanye.
Whilst saying goodbye to Givenchy was an amicable split after deciding not to renew his contract, Tisci has not yet announced what he intends to do next or where he intends to go. But of course the rumours have all surfaced with talk that he is set to take the reigns at Versace (which wouldn’t be completely out of the blue as he has formed a close relationship with Donatella Versace, who featured in the Givenchy 2015 fall ad.
So, where will Tisci go? We don’t quite know. But, what we do know is that regardless of what he goes on to do next he will do it with his trademark romantic elegance that both turns heads and captivates worldwide.
Words by Maija Lily