By Brinley Knopf
Known perhaps for overthrowing Hubert de Givenchy’s chic-style for street-style, subverting the label towards a dark, gothic, iconoclastic look that excited appetites for streetwear, Riccardo Tisci has left Givenchy.
Venerated for his work as Creative Director, commencing in 2005 and spanning over twelve years to 2017, Tisci “left his desk” at the end of January to apply himself fully to his own projects. In an official statement, Bernard Arnault—both chairman and executive officer of LVMH luxury group, which owns Givenchy—spoke highly of Tisci, saying that “The chapter Riccardo Tisci has written with the house of Givenchy over the last 12 years represents an incredible vision to sustain its continuous success, and I would like to warmly thank him for his core contribution to the house’s development.” Tisci offered his thanks to Arnault, for “giving me the platform to express my creativity over the years.”
In his work, Tisci turned away from Audrey Hepburn. She was Hubert’s muse, the label’s muse, with a look both classic and chic, but Tisci saw things ornate, preened with plumes, celestial but ghostly; revamping Givenchy for new times. Tisci’s ‘Rottweiler’ T-shirt was the stuff of legends, which debuted in 2011 to a cult following—it cost $265, sold out everywhere, and in its heyday was seen on everyone from Liv Tyler to Rihanna. Always popular in pop culture, he designed Kim Kardashian’s wedding dress in 2015. And Tisci introduced Leandra Medeiros Cerezo—known as Lea T, Tisci’s transgender-personal-assistant-turned-face-of-Givenchy—in a 2010 campaign, setting the scene for transgender models to be embraced and enveloped in fashion.
Presently, rumors vying for attention, belying the truth—for all the general public knows—is that Tisci left to take on another job at Versace. WWD reported about the rampant speculation, although Versace hasn’t commented. There are also rumors about just who Tisci’s replacement might be, namely Virgil Abloh, Kayne West’s creative director and Off-White designer.
Tisci’s final designs were seen on Adele at the Grammys, and will be seen at the Oscars —but afterward, finito. At least the designs accredited to Tisci through Givenchy will be. What’s next?