Italian-born designer Riccardo Tisci is widely known for resurrecting the Parisian house of Givenchy by marrying his flair for streetwear and his eye for French elegance. After 12 years at the helm of the luxury fashion house as creative director, he departed his post last February. From this, questions surfaced whether he's joining another brand or prolonging his downtime from designing. But all these have been answered as Riccardo returns from his sabbatical with a shoe collection with Nike.
In an interview with The New York Times, he explains the reason for his exit, "I now wish to focus on my personal interests and passions." And true to his word, Riccardo is indeed following his personal pursuits. Riccardo had always been interested in sports, specifcally basketball, a sport that he had played growing up.
His current collaboration with Nike hopes to propel sportswear into an era of modern and elegant sports style. He translates this goal into a distinct array of clothing including an Oxford shirt, track pants, varsity jacket, and a new iteration of Nike's Air Force 1. "I'm obsessed with the shoe," he says. "It's very clean and pure, but at the same time elaborate. It’s the shoe that best represents my style and my collaboration with Nike," he says.
This gives way to his invention of a fictional team called the Victorious Minotaurs that embodies his design aesthetic. He says, "There's always been sportswear in my style, and I believe the mix of sport, street, and elegance is really good." This is evident in the new Air Force 1, which feature Nike's famous swoosh accompanied with a star in a blue, white, and red colorway—details that make the shoe a true off-court uniform.
His second collab with Nike also focuses on Riccardo's interpretation of NBA players. “In the 90s, basketball players became kind of like rock stars,” he says. “But now, they are more than rock stars. They’re superhuman — representative of historic mythology.”
Riccardo Tisci's new Nike collection is slated to drop this October 21 at NikeLab stores and its website.