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2009 October 28

Time for Some Tisci

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Riccardo Tisci, creative director of Givenchy with Julie Gilhart, SVP, Fashion director of Barneys New York Riccardo Tisci, creative director of Givenchy with Julie Gilhart, SVP, Fashion director of Barneys New York
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(NEW YORK) "Just about everything in his show was fresh-looking and desirable," wrote Cathy Horyn of Riccardo Tisci's Spring 2010 effort for Givenchy, shown earlier this month in Paris. The Italian designer credited with reviving the storied house has cultivated a loyal client base consisting of the world's most stylish women--Carine Roitfeld as the most obvious example--while rejuvenating the couture season with a much-needed shot in the arm. The Daily caught up with the affable Tisci yesterday afternoon during a "guerilla" public appearance at Barneys New York, which sells a wide collection of Givenchy clothing and accessories, including the new capsule collections based on two themes, "Romantic White Blouse" and "Studs." Each theme will inspire 10-15 pieces, which are priced 40% lower than the ready-to-wear collection. The capsule collections will be presented twice a year with the pre-collections, but arrive in-stores one month earlier.

Givenchy has emerged as one of the hottest tickets during Paris Fashion Week. How does that feel?
It feels good. This will be my fifth year at Givenchy, and when I arrived, it was a different situation. I kind of closed the door of the house--kind of like when you sell a house. You fix things, do repainting...what happened at Givenchy was that. We were a very small company and, step-by-step and season-by-season, we grew up and developed an identity. The last few seasons, general interest has increased and people now know where we stand. Now, the door is opened and people can come join the family. We're not just about buyers or press or celebrities--everyone can enjoy Givenchy, which is good.

You've managed to both build the couture brand while focusing on lower-priced items, like the line of white shirts you're doing.
Givenchy started as a couture house, and it's amazing that we have that, because there are not many couture houses left. I'm one of the youngest couturiers in history. It's very special, because it's built on a woman's body. It's very expensive due to the fabric, embroidery, embellishment. As for the pret-a-porter, it is very high quality, and it is for people who have money, but it doesn't cost so much that you can't be a part of the family of Givenchy. You can find pieces that are not super-expensive and you are part of the image. The white shirts, the trousers--things that are very recognizable. Some people say it's for young people, but it's not just that--it's for people who want to be part of the family.

The accessories are very well-priced, and they seem to be getting stronger every season.
It's all about the Nightingale and the Melancholia! I'm very happy, because I've believed in our bags from day one.

How are you spending your time in New York?
I came here today to surprise Barneys and Julie [Gilhart, SVP and fashion director of Barneys New York] because they've been supporting me for five years. They've also been amazing with the Riccardo Tisci line. I'll be working here for one week. I'm designing costumes for a show, which will be in 2011. I can't say what it is, but it'll be public in a year's time. It's a big performance musical with a great artist and creative director. I'm very pleased that they asked me to design. It'll start in New York and then it will travel. I'm working on it in a big way.

How will you spend your free time?
I love music and art at the same level as fashion, so I'll see some of that. And I'm definitely going clubbing. A lot of DJs I love are here. But I'm also going to a few museums. I've got plenty of friends here--in fact, most of my private life is here. I stay at the Mercer--for five years, it's been my New York home.

Have you been to the Boom Boom Room yet?
Not yet, but I'm going to go!

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