For the second season in a row, Givenchy will not hold its couture presentation next month. This announcement follows Givenchy’s 2010 shift from presenting couture runway shows to showing looks in a presentation setting. The ongoing excuse: Riccardo Tisci was busy to design and show a collection that no one is really buying.
Tisci has been busy. He just finished co-chairing the Met Ball and creating costumes for Beyonce’s tour, Rihanna’s tour and for the Opèra Garnier in Paris, as well as reviving Givenchy’s wristwatch collection (which is pretty good!). This begs the question: Is he just doing everything but presenting a formal couture collection? As I’ve said before, custom-made designs adorning Rihanna while she sings about Chris Brown or Beyonce crawling on the ground on stage … aren’t exactly the same as a couture collection. There is no question that these are very profitable ventures; ones that result if a great amount of exposure for the design house, and there is certainly something to be said for that, but if we look at this purely from a branding perspective, what is Givenchy becoming?
Let’s be honest about two things. Tisci has undoubtedly made Givenchy more relevant that it has been in quite awhile, which is a feat. He designed one of the house’s first “it” bag – the Nightingale bag and continues to offer accessible luxury (by way of t-shirts and sweatshirts, etc.). However, accessible luxury has its own place on the fashion totem pole, and Michael Kors has it down pat! Secondly, Rottweiler t-shirts are only sustainable for so long. Bambi-inspired sweatshirts certainly cannot carry a luxury design house. So, what is really happening with Givenchy, which holds the status of a grand couturier, is unclear. But from the looks of things, they are trading in decades of elegance and moving closer and closer to becoming a glorified streetwear brand that primarily serves the entertainment industry.