PARIS — As widely expected, LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton said Monday it has tapped the relatively unknown Riccardo Tisci as Givenchy’s fifth designer in 10 years.
This confirms a report in WWD last month tipping the 30-year-old Italian as the leading candidate.
Marco Gobbetti, chief executive officer of Givenchy, said Tisci signed a three-year contract and would move to Paris to begin work immediately on a winter couture collection and pre-spring ready-to-wear. It has not yet been decided if Givenchy, which has sat on fashion’s sidelines since the exit of Julien Macdonald in April, will be back on the couture runway in July.
After showing his latest signature collection in Milan last Friday to positive reviews, Tisci will shut down that label to focus on Givenchy, Gobbetti said.
Monday’s announcement ends one of the longest designer searches in recent memory, with candidates said to range from Richard Chai and Zac Posen in New York to Giles Deacon and Roland Mouret in London. Alber Elbaz, who renewed his contract at Lanvin last August, resisted aggressive courting by LVMH.
But on Monday, Gobbetti insisted there were scores of willing and capable candidates and that Tisci outshone them all.
“He is a perfect fit for us. He has an elegance that is very modern, very contemporary and romantic at the same time,” he said. “A lot of people say, ‘He is very young,’ but I think he’s ready for it.”
After years working for other designers and firms — including Antonio Berardi, Stefano Guerriero, Missoni and Ratti — Tisci signed a three-year contract to do the Ruffo Research collection, which had been a platform for the likes of Sophia Kokosalaki, Veronique Branquinho and Raf Simons.
When the plug was pulled on that line in July, he scrabbled together a collection in October and tapped his model friends to do his show for free. They obliged again last week in Milan, wandering around an incense-choked warehouse in dresses and coats with funereal airs.
Tisci succeeds a string of designers who have, to varying degrees, encountered some bumps on the road to brand rejuvenation following the 1995 retirement of founder Hubert de Givenchy.After a brief stint by John Galliano, who moved on to Christian Dior, Alexander McQueen tried his hand. But his eclectic collections — space aliens one season, rockabilly the next — failed to galvanize the house. Macdonald went back to a style rooted in French elegance and sophistication, but did not win much acclaim.
More recently, the spotlight at Givenchy has shone on men’s wear, where the artistic director is Ozwald Boateng.
“Azzedine has been one of the biggest influences in my life. He has always been such a strong, loving, fatherly figure to me. I call him Papa. His designs are indescribably unique, they are pieces of art. He knew how to make the female form look its loveliest. I have so many memories of him; my favorite might be during my first show with him in Paris. He liked me and he wanted to help me get more work. He called all his friends at Kenzo and Comme des Garcons, and asked them to book me. They said, ‘But she can’t walk!’ And he said, ‘but she has such a great ass!' His friendship and support has been the great privilege of my career. I can't imagine life without him. Repose en paix mon Papa.” - @stephanieseymour tells @wwd. #wwdfashion (📷: @steveeichner) #alaia #azzedinealaia
Azzedine Alaïa, flanked by two of his closest friends, models Stephanie Seymour and Naomi Campbell.
He designed Seymour’s dress for her 1995 wedding to Peter Brant, and treated Campbell (who famously called him Papa), like a daughter. For more on the legendary designer, tap the link in bio. #wwdfashion #alaia #azzedinealaia
Azzedine Alaïa's “I-did-it-my-way” ethos stood out starkly at a time when brands are experimenting with consumer-facing fashion shows, coed formats and trans-seasonal collections – anything to perk up lackluster sales of ready-to-wear in an age of Insta-everything. “It’s not creation anymore. This becomes a purely industrial approach,” the late designer told WWD in an interview last year. “But anyway, the rhythm of collections is so stupid. It’s unsustainable. There are too many collections.” Read more about the iconic designer’s life and work on wwd.com, link in bio. #wwdfashion #azzedinealaia (📷: @WWD Archive, 1986) #alaia
Sneaker reselling app @goat’s latest exhibit, "The Greatest: New York," tells the story of New York's sneaker culture. To celebrate the exhibit, an intimate crowd gathered on Thursday night at the pop-up gallery space, located at Platform in Culver City, to hear guest speaker and illustrator @esymai talk about her own rise in streetwear and women in the business. "For me I'm just someone who is creative. I like to create things," said Chang. #wwdfashion
Azzedine Alaïa, one of the most iconic couturiers of the modern era whose body-con designs defined Eighties fashion, has died in Paris. The diminutive Tunisian-born designer, known for his structured knitted dresses with fitted waists and impeccably cut, figure-hugging second skin silhouettes was deeply admired by his peers, and counted supermodel Naomi Campbell - his adoptive daughter - among his inner circle, one of a gang of glamazons including Farida Khelfa, Carla Bruni and Stephanie Seymour who became ambassadors of his style. (📷: Alexandre Guirkinger) #wwdblast