Givenchy creative director quits

Riccardo Tisci
Riccardo TisciPHOTO: NYTIMES

NEW YORK • Yet another seismic shift is taking place in French fashion.

Riccardo Tisci, creative director of Givenchy who was responsible for redefining the brand Audrey Hepburn built for the Kardashian era, said on Thursday that he was leaving the brand after 12 years.

A successor has not been announced. Givenchy, in a statement, said it was "a joint decision" to end the collaboration and that Tisci had officially left on Jan 31 "after a very successful 12-year partnership".

Designer moves have become so common of late that they are starting to seem more yawn-inducing than critical.

But Tisci's amicable divorce from Givenchy, which is owned by LVMH, could have deeper repercussions.

Tisci had not only transformed Givenchy into one of LVMH's most successful brands, but was also often held up as a model for the partnership between hot young designer and heritage house.

That he was willing to end what appeared to be a happy marriage suggests that the old days of designers staying in place for decades may be finally, officially, over.

When he joined Givenchy in 2005, the brand was floundering after being led by a quick series of creative directors, including John Galliano, Alexander McQueen and Julien Macdonald.

Tisci was then a 30-year-old upstart Italian with a gothic sensibility. It seemed a surprising match, but he managed to combine his own harder-edged sensibility with a certain French classicism and a dose of emotion to give Givenchy a newfound relevance: He made crosses, skulls and the perfect white shirt make sense.

He said he was leaving to "focus on my personal interests and passions".

But rumours have suggested he may be headed to Versace.

It would mean going home to Italy and to a brand whose unabashed Italian sex and power-woman aesthetic mirrors his own.


A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on February 04, 2017, with the headline 'Givenchy creative director quits'. Print Edition | Subscribe