PARIS — Riccardo Tisci is getting ready for his “Breakfast at Tiffany’s” moment — version 2.0.
WWD has learned that Givenchy’s buzzy designer is decamping from Paris and will stage the brand’s spring 2016 fashion show during New York Fashion Week, set to run from Sept. 10 to Sept. 17.
The Sept. 11 runway spectacle, with a party to follow, is part of a double-header for the French fashion house, which is set to open a 5,000-square-foot, Tisci-designed flagship at 747 Madison Avenue at 65th Street toward the end of August.
“It’s a very delicate day for America, and so the show is going to be a celebration of family and love,” Tisci said in an exclusive interview, also disclosing that he is collaborating on the event with his friend, the performance artist Marina Abramović. “She’s going to help me to art direct the show. It’s going to be very interesting.”
The twin developments telegraph that Givenchy has strong ambitions for the U.S., which represents about 20 percent of the total business. Market sources estimate the brand is approaching revenues of 400 million euros, or $447.4 million at current exchange rates.
“We think that the U.S. market is very dynamic,” said Philippe Fortunato, chairman and chief executive officer, describing strong domestic consumption in addition to surging tourism from Europe, Asia and South America. “It is strong, solid and growing.”
At present, Givenchy operates two freestanding boutiques in America — in the Miami Design District and Wynn Las Vegas — and Fortunato disclosed plans to expand in Florida next year with a unit in the Aventura Mall.
The brand, controlled by LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton, is also looking to open in California — likely Orange County first, followed by Beverly Hills — and to leverage distribution with key wholesale partners in America, which include Neiman Marcus, Bergdorf Goodman and Saks Fifth Avenue, he added.
Givenchy has been absent from the Manhattan retail scene since 2006, when it vacated its prior 710 Madison Avenue address. Fortunato called the neighborhood “a beacon to the entire American market,” as well as the premier destination for local luxury clients.
He hailed the one-off New York show as a natural, given strong parallels between the house’s founder and Tisci, its fifth couturier.
Hubert de Givenchy brought his couture and ready-to-wear to the U.S. market early in his career, and forged strong relations with wealthy families and Hollywood elite, most famously dressing Audrey Hepburn for a number of film roles.
“It seems like history repeating itself,” Fortunato marveled in an interview, of the parallels between the two designers.
Tisci has long declared a passion for America, and the freedom and land of opportunity it represents.
Today, he spends a considerable amount of time in Manhattan, where he has a place, and he collaborates closely with a wide swath of top talent in music — including Madonna, Rihanna, Beyoncé and Kanye West — and film, such as Jessica Chastain, Julia Roberts, Julianne Moore, Amanda Seyfried, Naomi Watts and Cate Blanchett.
Coincidentally, the Manhattan event falls as Tisci marks his first decade at the house.
Since arriving at Givenchy in 2004, he has heated up the brand with his pulse-pounding shows, and his blend of streetwear and couture; masculinity and femininity; darkness and romanticism.
References to America in Givenchy collections are frequent and diverse, from cowboys in his spring 2009 women’s collection to surf culture, pinups and American sportswear for his spring 2012 outing.
Since taking on Givenchy men’s wear in 2008, the designer has referenced baseball and the iconography of photographer Robert Mapplethorpe in his collections. His spring 2016 men’s show, which took place here Friday night, was an homage to workwear, loaded with denim, bandanas and star motifs.
A collector of American flags since he was a teenager, Tisci said he now does most of his research in the U.S., frequenting museums, Broadway shows and movie theaters.
“It gives me so much energy, and I’m very inspired by the culture,” he said. “I feel free when I’m there.”
Asked to account for Givenchy’s resonance in the U.S., Tisci mused that he always considers wearability and comfort in his designs, in addition to the edgy femininity and couture elegance he plies.
He noted he would now oversee the design of all stores, with units in Milan, Rome and London coming soon.