Givenchy revealed their campaign for their Spring ’14 collection and the face isn’t a predictable starlet like Rihanna, Beyonce or Kim Kardashian. It’s fronted by none other than Erykah Badu.
Givenchy’s Creative Director, Riccardo Tisci, said that he had the “Window Seat” singer in mind for the campaign, which only features women of color, as he was designing the collection. This will be the duo’s first time collaborating together.
“Erykah, she’s an icon—come on!…She’s one of the most stylish women I’ve met in my life,” Tisci told Style.com. “She’s got such a good sense of proportion, of colors.”
The first campaign image that has been circulating shows a bold shot of Badu standing with both hands by her side, looking straight into the camera, decked out in a long tunic that seems to be inspired by tribal prints. The collection itself is expected to boast Japanese and African-inspired graphics, according to Tisci.
With appealing aesthetics aside, Tisci’s latest move further proves his admiration for African-American women and wanting to see more of them on the runway and in fashion spreads. In addition to using Ciara as a muse in the past, the designer notes: “I discovered Joan Smalls, I discovered Maria [Borges]. I discovered a lot of Black girls, and I’ve been always supporting them. For me, I grew up in a family and I grew up in a culture, an education, that we all are the same.”
Tisci adds that he hopes the world will take notice of the lack of diversity in fashion and improve. “At the end of the day, why are not so many Black girls or Latin girls in shows? When you have an American president who is Black! When I see this happening, it’s quite sad, I think.”
We hope the fashion industry takes notice of Tisci’s inclusion of ethnic representation and makes steady changes in 2014 that don’t keep leaving us out.
I’m absolutely in love with the concept of the campaign. The fact that Tisci insisted on a dynamic woman like Badu to be front and center says a lot about his true intention of highlighting talent that represents the character of his creations. He isn’t just adding a black woman to the images just to say he has one. Tisci has a solid understanding of his diverse celebrity fanbase — Kim, Kanye, Rihanna, Ciara, Bey and Jay Z included — and knows how to reflect his appreciation of diversity in his own creative direction. I can’t help but to think of the many palm-to-forehead moments in fashion — Naomi running with a cheetah, or every campaign of a White model in Black face — that left me underwhelmed and insulted, but Tisci is trying. Although I love seeing Beyonce and Rihanna look back at me in their fashion campaigns, it’s great that we finally have a chance to see Erykah plastered where she belongs: fashion’s front pages.
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