The Tanning of High End Fashion Via Riccardo Tisci
There’s always been a casual relationship between hip hop and fashion, but Givenchy Creative Director Riccardo Tisci is making it more of a marriage. The Italian born fashion designer who is responsible for Kimye’s wedding attire, has made the Parisian fashion house into a household name with the use of black models, and various projects geared toward the hip hop community.
While many designers were coming under fire the past few seasons for the homogeneity of their fashion shows, Tisci was ahead of the curve having already discovered African American models Joan Smalls and Maria Borges. Tisci appointed neo-soul singer Erykah Badu as the face of Givenchy’s Spring 2014 womenswear line to the surprise of many in the fashion world, but he took it a step further and exclusively used women of color throughout the entire campaign.
“At the end of the day, why are not so many black girls or Latin girls in shows?,” Tisci said to Style.com in regards to diversity in fashion. “When you have an American president who is black! When I see this happening, it’s quite sad, I think. People can be so avant-garde, so advanced, but actually not, because people are still making differences between skin color.”
Not only does he have a penchant for choosing the most diverse models, Tisci also takes on projects with strong urban ties. In 2011 he collaborated with rappers Kanye West and Jay Z to design the cover art for the “Watch the Throne” album, and the single covers for “H.A.M.” and “Otis”. The following year Tisci worked with West again to design the cover GOOD Music’s “Cruel Summer”.
And in January 2014 Tisci unveiled his debut collection for athletic brand Nike. He designed four pairs of sneakers based on one of hip hop’s most celebrated shoes, the Air Force 1.
This year’s Met Gala red carpet was sprinkled with Riccardo Tisci for Givenchy couture looks from Beyonce, Jay-Z, Naomi Campbell, and of course his Spring 2014 muse, Erykah Badu. His most recent hip hop projects include designing costumes for the “On the Run” trailer for Jay Z and Beyonce’s upcoming tour, and designing Kimye’s wedding ensembles.
Essentially, Tisci is like the sponsor for A-list hip hop players and that’s why he’s one to watch.
See his recent projects that tied in the African American community, on the next pages.
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