Racked is no longer publishing. Thank you to everyone who read our work over the years. The archives will remain available here; for new stories, head over to Vox.com, where our staff is covering consumer culture for The Goods by Vox. You can also see what we’re up to by signing up here.
The June/July issue of Interview magazine hits newsstands today, and, as a brilliant teaser, the folks over at HQ have posted the complete text of Donatella Versace's interview with Dior heir-apparent, Givenchy creative director Riccardo Tisci, online. Things we find out from the interview? Even Donatella thinks Riccardo Tisci going to Dior.
On why having a muse is important, especially for a male designer:
Tisci: I say to you sincerely that what I very much admire about the Versace maison, and what I am still trying to learn to do myself as I am still young, is that from day one until today, Versace is the peak of sexy but never crosses that red line into the vulgar.On Donatella being the quintessential Italian woman:
Versace: When I worked with Gianni at the end of his life, I was the person with whom he would confide and say anything. If there was something I didn’t like, I would be honest and say, “No, no, no! Do something different.” Do you have anyone like this on your team?
Tisci: Absolutely. It’s super-essential. Even though I don’t have a very big team, for me, the word muse may be démodé or not. I adore it, but I am also one, in my delirium, to be quite classical. For a designer—especially a male designer—he absolutely has to have that female voice by his side, which he listens to, he filters, he digests. It’s a huge need, because when you see through the eyes of a man, you see a woman a certain way, and how they have little tricks of their own. And like I said before, my luck has always been how I’ve had a family of women around me, and I have women who are very close to me now—for example, Mariacarla [Boscono], Carine Roitfeld, Marina Abramovic.
Tisci: Donatella, you are so much of a Givenchy woman! [laughs] I say it because I want the world to know. For me, aesthetically, you represent what the Italian woman is.On music:
Versace: I like to work with music playing full blast.On landing the job at Givenchy:
Tisci: Yes. And I love finding new things. At the moment, I am fixated on Nicki Minaj and Antony and the Johnsons, but I’m also one who changes around in music a lot. I love the conceptual aspect of Antony Hegarty or the voices of those back in the day like Lil’ Kim, Missy Elliott, Ciara. I love what evokes emotion in me. We are Italian. We are all little tribes— not only in fashion, but also in music—in everything, basically. I am close friends with Marina Abamovic´, so I love strong, very aggressive political art. She is like a mom who wants to adopt me [laughs]. I love that whole world but I also love hip-hop and R&B. People always say, “You are dark, you make dark dresses. You probably only love The Cure or Diamanda Galás.” I love Diamanda Galás, but I also love Madonna, Beyoncé, and Courtney Love. They are all from different worlds, but they all evoke emotions in me. I am someone who needs emotions and needs to transmit them. If that weren’t the case, I’d be better off changing professions.
Tisci: They called me in to do Givenchy and I just thought, Wow. The first thing I did was sign my name. But I have to be sincere, I did that because my mom was leaving our family home and that thought really upset me. In a way, I didn’t even think . . . It could have been Givenchy, it could have been anywhere, but the fact of thinking of my mother in a home for the elderly . . . I don’t have anything against homes for the elderly, but my mom, after having nine children, after all the sacrifices, living in an apartment—it gave me anxiety. Being the only male in the family, I said, “No I can’t let this happen.” Therefore I signed, because I wanted to buy a house for my mom.On dancing:
Tisci:: I very much like going dancing.On the future and this whole Dior rumormill:
Versace: Me too! I will have to go out with you in Paris! [laughs]
Tisci: No, Donatella, one day we have to do New York together. I’ve seen you in Milano and Paris, but we’ve never been in New York together. We would have so many laughs that it would crack you up. I adore dancing, but I am one who is less for places for showoffs. I like when they don’t care how they are dressed; they are there to have fun and dance.
Versace: I like places that are less polished as well.
Tisci: You let yourself go and you dance, and the music is what really goes into your bloodstream. I really see it in this way. I love music more than fashion.
Versace: Now I must ask you, do you have new ideas for Givenchy, or something new for Riccardo Tisci? I think you know what I mean. [laughs]· Riccardo Tisci by Donatella Versace [Interview]
Tisci: Yes, I know what you mean. You mean what happened at Dior. I don’t know what will happen. Sincerely, I feel sorry for John. But for this moment I am leaving aside all the gossip of “I am going here, I am going there,” because there is a lot of gossip circulating and there always will be. I will tell you, in this moment, I am very happy at Givenchy and it is a moment in which I am bringing the game to the next level. So I tell you, I feel at home. It’s as if it were my son. I don’t know how to explain it. It would be very difficult for me to leave.
Versace: It’s like your child, there.
Tisci: Absolutely. Because I arrived here, with a destroyed house, with nothing. I had to do everything very slowly. And with a little team and a great president, we achieved a lot. I am happy here. For now, it is still Givenchy by Riccardo Tisci, and I think that it will be for a long time, because it will be difficult to evict me from my house. I feel good here! [laughs]
Versace: We will see if this is the whole truth!
Tisci: No, I would really say that, at the moment, it really is the truth. My truth is this: That I don’t know what will happen tomorrow because you can never know.