Riccardo Tisci

Givenchy designer Riccard Tisci is so Italian. Tall, dark and an aficionado of everything from music to art, he also talks a kilometer a minute. I was reminded of this when he dropped in on a Givenchy trunk show today at Barneys New York, just off a plane from Rio de Janeiro, where he, Donatella Versace, Marc Jacobs and Calvin Klein’s Francisco Costa were the guests of honor at Oi Fashion Rocks. Wearing the New York uniform of scuffed sneakers and a black tee, within minutes he had covered rave-hopping in Rio, trouble in paradise, his first fragrance and moving to New York—and being young enough to do it all over again. My little iPhone Recorder app could barely keep up.

Lee Carter: Was it your first time in Rio?
Riccardo Tisci: It was my first time for work, but I’ve been there many times for holiday. I love America Latina. It was so nice, and I’ll be honest, I was shocked by how big Givenchy is there. I was really impressed.

Isn’t it big everywhere, darling cakes?
It’s bigger in Rio. I knew it was big because of magazines, but I was so surprised by the big welcome. It was me, Donatella, Francisco. It was a beautiful week.

Rio is also great for getting into trouble.
Oh, compleeeeeetely! (Laughs.)

I take it that’s what happened?
Well, you know I have a lot of friends there. I was very good for the first few days. I got some rest, then I did my show, and then…

And then?
I wouldn’t say I got into trouble, but I did enjoy myself. I really love music so we went to this…not a favela, but a big warehouse where it was all about the music, not clothes. It was real life.

Like a rave?
Yes, that’s exactly what it was. I met up with some friends. The music was beyond and the people were so happy to be alive.

The people in Brazil are the stuff of legend. So beautiful.
Beautiful and nice. That’s what I love. It’s about freedom and happiness.

And I bet Givenchy looks fantastic on those bodies.
Yeah, and the Brazilian models. You know I discovered a lot of Brazilian models. I put them in my shows. Ninety percent of the girls are Brazilian. It was amazing to see all these girls in the clubs wearing Givenchy.

And now you’re in New York. Tell us what you do when you’re here.
Go out a lot. Music is my big thing, probably even more than fashion. I love it, and I love New York. It’s such a beautiful city. Actually I’m trying to buy a house here.

You are? Which neighborhood?
I would love to live near Mercer.

Yeah, I love Soho. It has a very New York feeling.

With all the fire escapes and steam coming from the streets?
Exactly. Growing up Italian I always thought about coming to New York.

What about showing a collection here?
I would love. At the moment I’m at Givenchy 100% because it’s doing so well, but one day. I’m young still. I look a little bit tired right now, but I’m young.

What’s next for you? You must be thinking about men’s and couture.
Yes, and pre-collection. And I’m working on a fragrance, which is going to come out next year. It’s the first fragrance designed by me.

Quelle magique. What’s the name?
I can’t say yet.

Quelle tragique. What’s the mood?
The mood is very romantic and sensual, and I would say it has this darkness, but in a couture way. Very rich, but like in the 50s. Even the bottle is very clean, but it has a lot of details. We’re going to shoot the campaign soon.

That’s a lot of stuff, do you ever feel…
Tired? Yes, but to be honest, this is my moment. I’m 35 years old. I’m lucky to be here, to have the chance, so I want to give it my all.