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Just one week after Givenchy launched one of the best advertising campaigns we’ve seen in years (slash decades) for its Givenchy Jeans diffusion line (see the black and white shots of topless supermodels Giselle, Candice Swanepoel, Naomi Campbell and Irina Shayk dressed in nothing but denim on the shoulders of buff men below) the creative genius (jeanious) behind the label has shocked the fashion world with his resignation.
Riccardo Tisci – a god amongst mere mortals in the fashion design game – left the house on January 31, the date his contract as creative director was due for renewal. Rumours swirl the man widely credited with elevating Kim Kardashian into the luxury designer echelons after being the first (and for a long time only) person willing to loan her the same designer samples earmarked for A+++ list stars, will soon announce a new gig at Versace.
Tisci and bosses at LVMH (the group that owns Givenchy) must have known about his impending departure as celebrities gathered front row to view his magnificent Spring 2017 Menswear show, which featured several stunning womens looks too, just a fortnight ago. There’s clearly no love lost between the two – in public at very least. LVMH Chairman Bernard Arnault was glowing in his praise.
“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.” The brand’s Instagram account echoed a similar level of elegant conscious uncoupling.
The designer similarly sends the love back in full. “I have very special affection for the House of Givenchy and its beautiful teams,” he has stated. “I want to thank the LVMH group and Monsieur Bernard Arnault for giving me the platform to express my creativity over the years. I now wish to focus on my personal interests and passions.”
It’s a far cry from the messy divorce and ensuing social media eradication the house of Dior embarked upon after the departure (perhaps expulsion) of Hedi Slimane last year. But there has been one major fall-out from the sudden announcement: Givenchy has cancelled its Autumn/Winter 2017 runway show scheduled for Paris Fashion Week next month.
Tisci, who has pushed countless boundaries for the brand that’s now one of LVMH’s most lucrative and successful – including using a transgender model, his former personal assistant, for Givenchy’s Autumn/Winter 2010 campaign long before it became widely accepted – is without question the quiet nuclear force that turned the 64-year-old French label into a top tier player and celebrity favourite. His edgy, subversive designs are so synonymous with Givenchy’s aesthetic, it’s almost impossible to imagine how it will move forward without him.
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Certainly, his abdication opens a plum role for some other visionary in the design biz. All eyes are on the former king for his calculated next move. As promised, and in tribute, we leave you with a snapshot of Tisci’s final campaign for Givenchy Jeans, starring Naomi Campbell, Giselle, Irina Shayk and Candice Swanepoel. Long live the king.