Riccardo Tisci (Givenchy) interviewed by Donatella Versace for Interview Magazine

Donatella Versace Interviews Givenchys Riccardo Tisci 1

It’s a brutal look, and a bit too scary to look. Especially with my appreciation for dogs who I love and grew up my whole life with but something about Rottweilers just gives me the heebie jeebies. Sorry to all you Rottweiler lovers but when I think of one, I imagine what’s in this photo shoot below.

For the new issue of Interview Magazine Riccardo Tisci steps in for a fantastic interview by Donatella Versace and photography by Steven Klein, yeah, thanks Steven for these fantastic photographs I’m sure Riccardo absolutely loves you.

The photo shoot includes two additional models, Guinevere van Seenus and Saskia de Brauw in the all new Givenchy Fall 2011 collection. I must say – I do not know how Interview does this – managing to continue to bring amazing content like that.

Donatella Versace interviews Riccardo Tisci

Donatella Versace: Let’s talk about your last collection, which I found to be very beautiful—super sexy. I would wear all of it.

Riccardo Tisci: Brava! In fact, as I’ve been saying, it is very Donatella, because it is about a very strong woman. My inspiration comes from many sources, and one of those sources is precisely the maison Versace. You know, when I was a little boy, my family was not very well off. I had a sister who worked in a hairdressing salon. I lost my dad when I was 4 or 5 years old. I grew up with eight sisters and my mom. Nine incredible women all a little “à la Donatella Versace.” Real strong women from the South of Italy, women who had sensuality. They had a confidence in their body and in their sensuality. And it was a poor family, I am very proud to say it.

Donatella Versace: I find the idea of having eight sisters to be a veryjovial thing.

Riccardo Tisci: Absolutely. And even if they didn’t have the financial possibilities of dressing themselves fashionably, they were women with an elegant style. The elegance of the South is a very strong elegance and it is one that I bring. It is a sexy elegance—or at least, let’s say less chaste. It was also the late ’70s and the ’80s, which was a certain moment of Versace—especially for me with a sister who worked at a hair salon and brought home fashionmagazines on Saturdays. Of course, Versace is, in my opinion, still the flag of Italy; it represents Italy. It meant the arrival of top models, of celebrities, Gianni, Donatella, all the things that made me dream. Those early visions make a big impression.

Donatella Versace: The early ’90s were an especially marvelous period for fashion, because it was the peak of glamour and there were no limits as to what you could do. But I see that you haven’t stopped pushing the boundaries, pushing forward. There is always some of that in your collections, which I very much admire. There is this passion for fashion and you’ve had so much success in Paris. You are one of the most talented designers there.

Riccardo Tisci: Grazie.

Donatella Versace: Has your initial passion diminished at all? Is it still the same as it always was? Or are you getting used to it?

Riccardo Tisci: I have to be honest: My great strength, which I very much believe in, is family. For me, family doesn’t simply mean components of DNA. I mean family in the sense of siblings. My mom and my sisters are the energy and inspiration in my life. For me, fashion is a job. I love it. It’s my passion. But the most important thing for me in general is life. I was lucky. From the time I was a little, I was always surrounded by women, and I am very attracted to the feminine world, because I love the strength and romanticism, which in the end, you can find in my style.

Donatella Versace: I can see in your clothing that you know the body of a woman. You know how to valorize it. End of story.

Riccardo Tisci: Imagine all these sisters. Eight women of all different shapes and lifestyles. So my path was pretty peculiar. Even at the beginning when I arrived at Givenchy, there were certainly people who supported me, but not everyone loved me. They were saying, “Why an Italian who acts Gothic?” Never mind the fact that Italy is one of the main exhibitors of Gothic art in the world. But it was like, “No, Italians should only do sexy!” Sex is something I live very well, but it is something I revealed very slowly in my fashion. What I do is emotional. For me, there is a base, which is my Italian roots. It’s a strong passion for fashion, a passion for sensuality and dressing for one’s self. Then when I went to England, to Saint Martins, I was traumatized, in a positive way. It was that British sense of transgression and the dark. Then when I went to Paris, I was doing couture, which everyone was saying was finished. Bullshit! For me, in the end, it was all a mixing of ingredients.