Some Thoughts From: Riccardo Tisci

“Some Thoughts From,” a series of short features spanning some of the industry’s most notable designers, editors, models and other industry insiders, sharing their thoughts on anything and everything fashion. Up this week: Givenchy creative director Riccardo Tisci. One of the most influential designers of the moment, Tisci just extended his contract with the Paris-based design house, which is under the umbrella of luxury conglomerate LVMH, for three more years and co-chairing the Met Gala this year. Here are his thoughts on America, the Givenchy man, couture, and more ...

On his start at Givenchy: When they asked me to do Givenchy, I didn't want to do it. My friends pushed me. But the situation with my family was so bad financially. I really did it because, when they told me how much they would pay me, I saw that my sisters and my mom could have a better life ... 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?' But for me, darkness is something very beautiful.

On fashion: I love art and music more than I love fashion, to be honest.

On black: Black is always elegant. It is the most complete colour – dark, sensual and romantic.

On menswear: You know, in the beginning I didn't want to do a menswear collection. It felt a little forced. And then I found that it was an amazing world. I started to draw and design clothes that I couldn't find, because everything was all luxury, fashion clothes or very straight. So I mixed all of that together: Who says I can't put a man in a skirt? Who says that a man can't wear lace? Who says that men can't wear Swarovski? Who says that men can't wear makeup? You know what I'm like; for me, straight, gay, women, men, trans, we're all the same. I don't see difference.

On casting: People make such a big deal about using black girls in your casts, but it shouldn’t be a big deal—it should be normal. Your cast should have everything that is related to your world and your aesthetic. It doesn’t matter what their race is, what their gender or sexuality is, you should represent beauty—beauty is beauty.