Givenchy’s Riccardo Tisci was interviewed by Sang Bleu magazine’s Maxime Büchi directly after the designer’s Fall/Winter 2010 show at Paris Men’s Fashion Week. Tisci discusses his influence and motivations in what is a very open discussion.

“Maxime Büchi: I would like to start with what touches me the most in your creation, and especially that one particular experience I had. This t-shirt I received. I wonder how can you do this. Can you tell us about that twist, that “dark side”—or let’s just call it “flip side” that your creation seems to have. Where does it come from, how does it relate to you and what creative process leads to such a product?

Riccardo Tisci: My work process at Givenchy is very intense. Day after day, we research a lot, but at the same time my approach is emotional. I do not base myself on what has been done. I am a very careful person, but in the end, my work in based on emotion and not reinterpretation. Especially in these days, it is hard to find emotion and inspiration. Not only in fashion. In music, arts, society in general. When I find something I like, I explore it throughout, I dig deep, without considering what the reactions might be. I am not scared. That is the way I work: drawing inspiration and emotion from my travels, my friends, my family. My work then expresses my vision and my vision, like it or not, is pretty dark. I am a happy but dark person. It comes from my origins, the way I was brought up in the south of Italy where religion is omnipresent. Football, sex and religion, that’s the Italian way, you know. Religion has always been near me, like my family. We never had much money, so I saw I grew up tough. So those are the ingredients of my creation: a certain latin romanticism and a necessary toughness of who I am. But without being ugly. So that’s where the darkness lies. But it is a soft one, especially for menswear.
Now regarding this collection, it is the one I prefer so far, because it is not about shocking. It brings together a sense of tailoring that I have been developing for a long time, but still with that identity we were talking about. Also because of its theme — Jesus Christ — I left aside the embroideries and the in-your-face-ness of my past collections for a much purer street meets couture spirit.

MB:Speaking of streetwear, can you tell us more about how what is your relation to it and in extension to that, who is the ‘Givenchy man’?

RT: For a while, I couldn’t answer that because I was concentrated on developing the woman, but here it is: the ‘Givenchy man’ is a Latin man. It is who I am as well. It might sound strange for a French house, but there is something about the heart of the Latino that I love. And then there is the strong body language. The latin man is proud and masculin, but is not afraid to have feminine facets in the way he dresses. You can see it illustrated in the casting of the shows. I explore the menswear world farther show season after season. Every item is the encounter of so-called streetwear—the trainers, the clothes I wear—and elegance. It is the twist. There are many beautiful shirts, coats, suits on the market. How do you come up with something that will be new, that will stand out, but still be wearable? Is is a particularly challenging in menswear.”

Read more of the interview at A Blog Curated by.