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Riccardo Tisci had never done menswear until the higher-ups at Givenchy asked him to start in 2008. He was hesitant at first, but under his leadership Givenchy's menswear business has exploded and now accounts for half of the brand's business, according to WWD. With 2015 being Tisci's tenth anniversary at Givenchy, WWD talked to the man himself about his time there, his menswear and the obvious streetwear influences in his work. Most interestingly, there's even mention of a new collaboration with Nike, which the streets will surely be thirsty for.
On the "youthful" look of Givenchy and its broad customer base:
It’s not only for a young generation. When people interview me they always say young generation, but it’s not true because I’m 40 and I still wear trainers. I know people who are in their 50s or 60s who wear trainers and carry backpacks. It’s just the mood, the personality you have—so it’s for a man who knows how to cross between an elegant and confident look to a very sporty look.
On designing for men:
Men’s wear is very different from women’s wear. Men are more faithful. If he’s buying something and he believes in the label, he will be faithful forever. Women’s wear goes more with the trends.
I remember I really wanted to start very small. I wanted to first see if I was capable of doing it. I could have gone two ways and done what Hubert de Givenchy might—the elegant French route—or something more honest, simple and easy—more myself and what I really like. I don’t really buy designer clothes—apart from Givenchy now—I’m much more sportswear.
On his classic casual "uniform" and how it helps him do menswear:
It’s very easy for me to do street, because I wear streetwear and I’m much more like that. But don’t forget I studied in England at Central Saint Martins, and tailoring is pretty central to British culture. Plus, I worked for Antonio Berardi. In couture, it’s all about tailoring, so for me it’s very easy to do tailoring for men. You know, sometimes people say that being a designer is difficult. It is, because of the pressure that comes along with it but—touch wood—so far it’s coming so natural for me. I just wish I had 12 hours more in a day. Because you have to do so much and you never have enough time. That is always the problem with fashion.
On making sneakers and working with Nike:
I love. Especially now that I’ve signed with Nike, of course, it’s even a lot more. There’s a really big new project coming up. I can’t talk about it too much, but I’ll probably do two big things with them: One is the worldwide and one is related to a specific country. I mean, this country’s going to be the next big thing, and I really believe in it and so does Nike.