Shock News – Riccardo Tisci has just left Givenchy

That’s right you read that correctly

Riccardo Tisci has just left Givenchy

To those in the know, this will have come as no surprise. But to the rest of the world, Riccardo Tisci’s departure from Givenchy is a huge WTF. The creative director who helmed the brand for 12 years is responsible for breathing new life into the label with his incendiary style, mixing dark romanticism with audacious (and sometimes arrogant) verve. At Givenchy, Riccardo Tisci was a history maker. He gave the heritage label its first New York show in 63 years when he sent models (faces bejewelled bien sûr) down a pier on the Hudson River on September 11th, 2015. It was a controversial move, but one that was intended as a tribute to those who had perished in the World Trade Centre terrorist attacks in 2001. The show was poignantly set to the chants of a Tibetan monk.

Tisci also introduced subversive religious iconography to Givenchy collections. Remember we’re talking about the label that once dressed Audrey Hepburn here. It was no small feat to rewrite the rule book of such an iconic Maison. His leitmotifs were dark and dangerous. A spliced bambi/woman print, a snarling Rottweiler foaming at the mouth were best sellers on bags, sweats and pouches.

In a moving message today on Instagram (2.02.2017) Tisci posted a picture of an amber sunset over the ocean signalling the end of an era. He wrote:

“A giant heartfelt thank you to #givenchy, #lvmh, my incredible team, the magical atelier and everyone who made these 93 collections possible and all the other crazy adventures. Your love and support, in the day and in the night, will forever remain in my heart. #love #givenchy #forever”


Riccardo Tisci is leaving Givenchy, his leaving message on Instagram
Riccardo Tisci is leaving Givenchy, his leaving message on Instagram


in 93 collections, he has indeed created a new landscape for Givenchy. He has heightened its artistic narrative, imbuing it with a non-conformist attitude that will be difficult to replicate. He’s championed transgender models and he also did the unthinkable. He featured a rival creative director on his fashion campaigns. Donatella Versace is a longstanding friend of the designer, but featuring her as his muse (autumn/winter 2015) was nothing short of genius. A tactical move that said: ‘I am a rule breaker but everything I do turns to pure gold.’ Even the most tanned woman on the planet.

Riccardo Tisci’s final Givenchy show for AW17 (NB: there will be no show at this Paris Fashion Week) was held at the National Library of France. The show started on a sombre note with a minutes silence for Franca Sozzani. The majority of the show was a mixture of graphic sweaters, checked shirts and stripes combined with bold tribal inspired motifs as inspired by Native Americans. Gone was the banging hip hop music and instead the music was sombre and thoughtful as befitting the location. The American West continued into the womens haute couture collection which was also presented here.

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His last women’s show was SS17 shown in October. Chinese lanterns lit the runway, while chilly guests wrapped themselves up in silver sheets.  Or ‘space blankets’ as they are known,  which added to the otherworldly and spiritual undertones of the show. This is a theme that Riccardo Tisci has masterfully made his own during his tenure at Givenchy. Looks were body hugging and unabashedly sexy but they were also spiritual, thanks to malachite prints and pretty sunset colours.

Riccardo Tisci's last Givenchy catwalk for SS17
Riccardo Tisci’s last Givenchy catwalk for SS17

In hindsight, this may have been a not-so-subtle way of hinting his desire to explore new horizons, a pre-empting of Tisci’s farewell Instagram picture.

No one knows what’s next for the Italian designer. It’s much too early to guess, but we’re going to anyway. Forgive us for dreaming but perhaps his Insta pictures of Donatella Versace point the way forward …

Riccardo Tisci has left Givenchy, but what is next... Donatella Versace?
Riccardo Tisci has left Givenchy, but what’s next..


Riccardo Tisci posted this picture of Donatella Versace