Designer and creative director of Givenchy, Riccardo Tisci, has just announced the new face of the fashion brand.
Hours ago, the designer unveiled two images on his official Instagram page of neo-soul artist Erykah Badu. upon sharing the photos he also shared the message, “Welcome to the gang… @erykahbadu…Family addition #givenchycampaign #spring2014 @givenchyofficial @mertalas @macpiggott @erykahbadu @lucialoulou @garrennewyork.”
In an exclusive with Syle.com Tisci adds, “Erykah, she’s an icon—come on!” Tisci said by phone from Paris. “What I want to do with my advertising campaign is spread the love. Already now it’s been three seasons that I’ve been using people that express something—they are great artists, or beautiful women, or stylish women, or models that I really believe in. It’s kind of a family portfolio.”
Although they were acquainted but never worked together previously, Tisci notes, he envisioned Badu while designing for the Spring 2014 Collection — a mash-up of African and Japanese influences. “She’s one of the most stylish women I’ve met in my life,” he said. “She’s got such a good sense of proportion, of colors.”
While the fashion industry had notably made much effort, in the last few years, to incorporate women of color on the runway and in campaigns, Tusci was already one step ahead of the game. In fact, he’d envision bringing Badu aboard before much of the talk in creating designs and images around women like herself.
“There was a lot of talk this season in fashion,” Tisci said. “Me, I was one of the persons who ended up not being touched by this. I discovered Joan Smalls, I discovered Maria [Borges]. I discovered a lot of black girls, and I’ve been always supporting them. For me, I grew up in a family and I grew up in a culture, an education, that we all are the same.”
Does he think the industry will follow his lead? “I hope so,” he said. “It’s 2013. Everybody’s being so cool about Instagram, about Facebook, any media—everybody’s being so open. At the end of the day, why are not so many black girls or Latin girls in shows? When you have an American president who is black! When I see this happening, it’s quite sad, I think. People can be so avant-garde, so advanced, but actually not, because people are still making differences between skin color.”
(Source: Syle.com/Photos: Ricardo Tisci)