MILAN — Riccardo Tisci has a new gig — and he’s looking back some 700 years for inspiration.
Located at Milan’s former railway station Scalo Farini, the event, dubbed “The New Beginning,” will focus on Italy, the theme of the magazine’s September issue, which is now helmed by Emanuele Farneti.
“I turned to one of the masters in Italy, Dante [Alighieri], and was inspired by his ‘Divine Comedy’,” Tisci told WWD. Not one to shy away from theatrics, the event is bound to leave a mark, as guests will see that Tisci has re-created Inferno, Purgatory and Paradise at the venue.
“The Inferno is dark and Gothic, a bit like me,” joked Tisci. The poem, he said, continues to represent society today “with the good, the bad and the uncertains. There is a cultural approach, but modern and contemporary.”
The designer believes Italy is in the midst of another renaissance, and he expressed pride in his country and its culture, remarking on a new wave of artists, musicians, models, directors, actors and singers. “I really believe in Italy, I have been living outside the country for 25 years and when you see it from the outside, you appreciate its culture even more.”
Tisci has been working on the event since May. He has called four DJs and there will be singing performances, but he declined to provide too much information to protect the surprise effect. “It’s an art performance, a mixture between a rock, Gothic concert and the more ironic and romantic Disneyland. It’s a celebration of Vogue Italia and of Italy. There is also a fun dress code, between elegant and streetwear.”
“Vogue Italia has always had an international vision but, today, our aim is to strongly emphasize its Italian roots and the deep changes that the country and its fashion system are experimenting [with]. For this reason we asked Riccardo Tisci, one of the world’s most listened-to Italian voices, to contribute to the project,” explained Farneti.
Farneti was appointed editor in chief of the Condé Nast magazine last January, succeeding the late Franca Sozzani. With creative director Giovanni Bianco, he has completely restyled the title. Starting with the July issue, Vogue Italia featured a new, bigger format and heavier, glossier paper. The September issue includes interviews with Tisci, Alessandro Michele and Stefano Pilati.
Tisci addressed what he called his “sabbatical,” following his exit from the creative post at Givenchy in February and after the rumors of his stint at Versace, which never materialized. “I’ve always worked since I was 17 [he is 43]. I want to recharge. The world has changed and now it’s not only about clothes and accessories, but also about lifestyle and communication.”
Vogue Italia is experimenting with new forms of collaboration with designers and creatives, such as with Hedi Slimane, whose photographic portfolio was featured in the August issue, covering more than 40 pages.
The format of the evening, by invitation, will see not only the attendance of leading Italian and international fashion figures, but also a wider and mainly younger audience. “I want an engaging event, for a diverse community,” concluded Farneti, echoing Tisci’s own long-standing goal of inclusiveness.
Although this is the first such collaboration between Tisci and a magazine, the designer has honed his skills at party planning. In September 2015 he staged a theatrical party for Givenchy populated with barking Rottweilers, basketball players, voguing dancers and shirtless barmen at an abandoned crystal factory, calling on Nicki Minaj. In March, he masterminded an event in Rome to launch the NikeLab Air Max 97 Mid x RT as part of his latest footwear collaboration with the sports company.