riccardo tisci on life after givenchy, and how the label surprised him
'I really wanted to take a break because I needed to go back to reality. I needed to have the time to do things, which were impossible for me to do while working.'
For all the talk of cattiness in the fashion industry, there is a lot of love too; and anyone hoping for whispers of a less-than-amicable separation between Riccardo Tisci and Givenchy will be sorely disappointed. Speaking to WWD at a Nike party in Rome held in honour of his latest sneaker collaboration, the Air Max 97 Mid X RT, Tisci revealed the single greatest surprise following his exit was the outpouring of love — from both the industry at large and the ateliers he presided over. "After the closing of the relationship with Givenchy, which actually happened peacefully," he said, "I was really moved by two things — the incredible demonstration of love I got from the fashion industry and the tribute the Givenchy team made to my career. These two things are extremely important for me."
With the industry in what's beginning to feel like a constant state of flux, Tisci's 12 years at Givenchy seem especially remarkable. Although, a holiday is clearly long overdue. Reflecting on the comparative abundance of free time he now enjoys, the designer admitted, "I really wanted to take a break because I needed to go back to reality. I needed to have the time to do things, which were impossible for me to do while working. I wanted to spend more time with my mum, who is 88, to spend time with my nephews. I need to go back to real life."
Clare Waight Keller, formerly of Chloé, was confirmed as Tisci's successor over the weekend; the first female artistic director in the house's history. Rumours swirl that he will soon head to Versace, and the playful Tisci offered them a little nod at the event: "There are very interesting things on the table now and I'll make a decision before summer." For now, he's content to have a little time off, noting "I still have to do a couple of spiritual things before the summer." We have a fruitful year ahead of us.
Photography Mert Alas and Marcus Piggott [The Lovers of Life Issue, no. 305, Pre-Spring 2010]