Riccardo Tisci nearly turned down his job at Givenchy

Riccardo Tisci nearly turned down his job at Givenchy

Way back in 2005, designer Riccardo Tisco was picked to replace Julien Macdonald as creative director at Givenchy – but explains he almost turned the opportunity of a lifetime down in order to concentrate on his own line of clothing.

“I wasn’t interested,” says Tisci. “Not at all. I was going to say no. But the week before, my mother called me and said to me, ‘I am going to tell you something I haven’t even told your sisters: I think I am going to sell our house because your sisters are struggling, they’re having children, they need the money. I will go to a retirement home.’ When I heard that it was like a knife in my heart. I felt like such a failure, that my mother had to sell the house of my father whom I don’t remember. And then I went to Paris, and they showed me a contract with all these zeros on it, and it was like help from God. I thought ‘If I sign this, my mother will never have to worry again.’ So I signed it.”

Tisci is also the hot favourite to replace John Galliano at Christian Dior headquarters, but he credits his success to his family, especially his mother – we’re practically welling up.

“My mother, she gave me everything,” Tisci tells Vogue UK. “She gave me the confidence to believe in myself. It’s a strange time in fashion – everything has got so big. We can get very insular, the fashion tribe – we think we’re a lot of people but actually we’re very small – but my mother, my sisters don’t understand fashion now, which is how I realised what the final consumer feels. They don’t want to buy image, they want to buy substance.”

You’ve hit the nail on the sartorial head, Tisci.

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