Riccardo Tisci

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Riccardo Tisci
Born (1974-08-01) 1 August 1974 (age 40)
Taranto, Italy
Nationality Italian
Education Art and Design Central Saint Martins
Occupation Fashion designer
Religion Catholicism
Labels Givenchy

Riccardo Tisci (/rikˈkardo tiʃi/; born in 1974 in Taranto, Italy)[1] is an Italian fashion designer. He studied in Italy, and then graduated from London's Central Saint Martins Academy in 1999, and in 2005 was named Creative Director for Givenchy womenswear and haute couture. In May 2008 he was also named as menswear and accessories designer of the Givenchy men's division.

Tisci's apparent fascination with Gothic touches (dark, languid dresses for fall couture) and space-age minimalism (one ready-to-wear show featured white-clad models drifting around a sterile-white sphere) have drawn new attention to the Givenchy brand. Reviews and output so far have been mixed and inconsistent, but many, including influential fashion critics (such as Cathy Horyn of the New York Times and Suzy Menkes of the International Herald Tribune) have homed in on Tisci's conceptual leanings, as well as his future potential for revitalizing the Givenchy brand and infusing it with his precision and imagination.


Tisci was born in Taranto, Italy. The city of Taranto is said[by whom?] to be mythologically tied with mermaids and marines, which often influences Tisci in his collections for both Givenchy ready-to-wear and haute couture.

After graduating from London's Central Saint Martins College of Art and Design in 1999, Tisci worked for a succession of companies such as Puma and Coccapani before signing a three-year contract with Ruffo Research, which launched the careers of a plethora of fashion designers, such as Sophia Kokosalaki. Tisci has mentioned in an interview that he would like to work with an Iranian brand. However it is not known how realistic his wish is.[2]

Once his contract had expired in July 2004, Tisci began to work on his own collection, which he exhibited for Milan Fall 2005/2006 Fashion week. Shortly after, he was appointed by Givenchy as the creative director and made the following statement "I am delighted to join Givenchy and very proud to be able to bring my vision to this prestigious French haute couture house, whose history inspires me."[2]

Tisci explained his fall-winter 2010-2011 menswear collection as being influenced by his deep Catholic roots:[3]

"Religion is a big part of my DNA and this collection was about my Catholic(ism) and every other religion in a way."


On February 28, 2005, Riccardo Tisci was officially appointed as the creative director of the Haute Couture, ready-to-wear and accessories lines for Givenchy,[4] a job he almost turned down. Tisci's original plan was to focus on his own fashion line, however upon finding out that his mother was about to sell her house to help his sisters, he decided to accept Givenchy's offer. "[...] my mother called me and said to me, ‘I am going to tell you something I haven’t even told your sisters: I think I am going to sell our house because your sisters are struggling, they’re having children, they need the money. I will go to a retirement home.’ When I heard that it was like a knife in my heart. I felt like such a failure, that my mother had to sell the house of my father whom I don’t remember. And then I went to Paris, and they showed me a contract with all these zeros on it, and it was like help from God. I thought ‘If I sign this, my mother will never have to worry again.’ So I signed it.”[5] Givenchy boss Marco Gobbetti, spoke of Tisci's appointment as being a "perfect fit for us". Gobbetti adds, "He [Tisci] has an elegance that is very modern, very contemporary and romantic at the same time".

Unlike the various designers before him who succeeded Mr. Givenchy himself, Tisci has encountered great success, both critically and financially. Especially in the realm of Haute Couture, where Tisci asserts "When I arrived we had five customers. Now we have 29."[6] Riccardo Tisci's runway presentations are highly stylized in terms of architecture and space. Tisci says of this; "My way of showing is very melancholic... I love romanticism and sensuality".[6]

Tisci, under Givenchy, designed the costumes for Madonna's Sticky & Sweet Tour in 2008, following Jean Paul Gaultier and Dolce & Gabbana. In 2009, for the encore of the tour he designed another costume for the tour's opening song Candy Shop. He also delivered customized clothing for Madonna when she's not on stage.

For the Givenchy Fall-Winter 2010 collection[7] he has included a new model, a Brazilian transsexual named Lea T. This is someone he worked with for years, T, whose former name was Leo, was his longtime personal assistant.

In 2011, he has been widely considered to be John Galliano's most likely successor as head designer of Christian Dior.[8] However, in 2012 Raf Simons was announced as Galliano's replacement as creative director.[9]


In 2008, Riccardo Tisci was invited to curate the issue 8 of A-Anna Magazine curated by. In 2011, Tisci guest-edited Visionaire's RELIGION issue. He also designed the cover for H.A.M. & Watch The Throne by Jay-Z and Kanye West.


Italian Model Mariacarla Boscono often appears in his runway shows and ad campaigns, owing possibly to the fact that Tisci has had a friendship with her since before his days at Givenchy. Tisci also collaborated with American rappers Jay-Z and Kanye West to create the cover for Watch the Throne, as well as the covers for singles H•A•M and Otis. He has now recently collaborated again with Kanye West for his label GOOD Music on their album Cruel Summer.

Ricardo has recently learnt about a new Iranian artist, a young boy who currently goes to boarding school in Dubai and who is very interested in fashion. His parents want him to study law but what Ricardo believes in is that "every individual should follow his passion". Although Ricardo does not know this individual personally, but he would like to open a foundation to help young people such as this Iranian boy follow their dreams. To protect his privacy, all Ricardo gave away about this boy is that his name is "city of friends".

In 2014, Tisci collaborated with Nike to create a series of Air Force 1 shoes.


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