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Riccardo Tisci

La Parisienne

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Riccardo Tisci is the creative director of Givenchy, one of the world's most respected French fashion houses. Since his appointment in 2005, this man has made the label his own - adding his own melancholic, often Gothic and sometimes fetishistic, design take.

  • Tisci was born in Taranto, Southern Italy, in 1974. He has eight sisters, something he says has influenced his design aesthetic. "I love romanticism and sensuality, maybe because I come from a family with eight sisters," he told the New York Times in 2007.

  • At the age of 17, he left Italy to study fashion design at Central Saint Martins in London.

  • After graduating in 1999, he returned to his native country - where he worked for a number of brands including Antonio Berardi, Coccapani, Puma and Ruffo Research.

  • In September 2004 he set up his eponymous label, showing his first collection in Milan for the autumn/winter 2005-06 season.

  • Shortly afterwards, in February 2005, he was made creative director at Givenchy, replacing Julien Macdonald. "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," said Tisci at the time. Since Hubert Givenchy retired in 1995, there have been numerous successors - John Galliano in January 1996, followed by Alexander McQueen in October 1996 - and then Julien Macdonald in March 2001.

  • Tisci admitted that he found the prospect of designing couture initially daunting. "In the beginning, to be honest I was super-scared," he told Dazed Digital in January 2011. "I turned up and took a step back and said, 'I am here to learn,' and I feel the same today. I've got only to learn from these people because they have been doing couture for 30 or 40 years, so I keep learning every season."

  • Since his appointment, the designer has helped the label boost its sales considerably. "When I arrived we had five customers. Now we have 29," he told the New York Times in 2007.

  • Tisci caused a media stir in May 2010 when he cast the first transgender model in a catwalk show - the now well known Lea T. Lea worked as Tisci's assistant before the designer asked her to walk in his show. "She's always been very feminine: super-fragile, very aristocratic. She's part of the family," he told WWD.

  • In August 2011 he produced the album artwork for Jay-Z and Kanye West's collaborative album Watch The Throne.

  • In February 2012, Tisci collaborated with Madonna by designing her Super Bowl costume. Inspired by several of Tisci's archive Givenchy looks, the outfits - which were all changed on stage during Madonna's 12-minute set - included an all over hand-embroidered gold cape; a black mini dress worn with a hand-studded belt; and an embellished black coat.


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