riccardo tisci used real athletes as models for his nikelab collection

The Givenchy designer's performance collaboration features bodies as powerful as its prints.

by Hannah Ongley
Mar 18 2016, 9:00pm

Riccardo Tisci's haute couture fluency lends itself naturally to flashy runway shows and biologically blessed glamazons. But the industry darling is also a low-key champion of bodies that don't fit the proportions of a traditional model-type's. Case in point: Tisci's most recent fall/winter 16 collection as creative director for Givenchy, which was not-so-subtly inspired by his voluptuous muse Kim Kardashian. Now he's creating with another powerful figure in mind: the athlete. Tisci's new NikeLab collaboration with the performance giant is modeled on actual pro athletes, lending another impressive facet to the attention-grabbing designs. NikeLab x RT is bold, beautiful, and functional as hell.

"This collection represents an entirely new way of thinking for Riccardo," says NikeLab Senior Design Director Jarrett Reynolds. "It is engineered for performance, which is unfamiliar territory for him. But that's the beauty of collaboration - we can help bring Riccardo into the world of sport performance, which is our expertise. On the other hand, Riccardo's vision pushed our design to a place we wouldn't have arrived at on our own."

Nike's Dri-FIT and Flyknit technologies are subtly incorporated into Tisci's modern silhouettes. The trippy print is a kaleidoscopic mashup of flowers from Oregon, the home of Nike; Taranto, Italy, the home of Tisci; and Rio de Janeiro, where athletes are currently training for summer's ultimate sporting showdown. The skulls and stars Tisci has employed during his decade-long stint at Givenchy have also found their way into the colorful mix, while a second unique capsule collection will come in a signature Tisci black-and-white palette. 

"It was interesting… a little bit of a difficult process because to make something that is very dynamic, to do sport and to do activity, and make it strongly recognizable — a fashion statement — is not easy," Tisci says. "But we achieved something that's amazing. There's a lot of sensuality."

The NikeLab x RT: Training Redefined collection will arrive in July 2016. A second release is scheduled for the following month.


Text Hannah Ongley
Image courtesy of Nike

Riccardo Tisci