V Magazine recently caught up with Givenchy Creative Director Riccardo Tisci to discuss amongst other things the decision to tap the beautiful neo-soul singer Erykah Badu as its new face of the label. Badu has kept a relatively low profile the last few years. Being the face of the new campaign has added more to her plate as she begins touring again and recording a new album. Here is an excerpt from the interview, hop over to V Magazine to read the full article and learn more about how this relationship came to be.
V: Erykah, did you know Riccardo before you got the call to appear in the ads?
ERYKAH BADU: I just got a call from him. There’s not a big backstory to it. Unless you want to include that I’m a big fan of his work.
RICCARDO TISCI: I knew her as a musician and an artist. And she is a real artist. We had crossed paths before once in New York but never really knew each other. I asked her and she said yes. I was very, very happy. I wanted to represent the collection with style and elegance and I think she is perfect for that.
V: In addition to being an incredible artist, you’re also quite a fashion magpie. Are clothes another mode of expression for you?
EB: It’s all art to me. I just really enjoy expressing myself artistically in any genre. Whether it be music or cooking or hair. Costume, makeup, fashion. It’s just fun exploring all of the little things inside of my head and seeing them manifest. I would liken fashion or styling to putting a lump of clay in the middle of the table and carving away. And there’s something underneath. Layering and silhouettes. A pair of earrings. I think it comes down to my favorite things and how they come together. That’s fun when that happens.
RT: And this is one of the great things that drew me to Erykah. Aside from being quite talented, and the queen of the ’90s. I was thinking of someone who was quite elegant and urban. She’s always been this way. She has a very good sense of style, she’s great with jewelry. Her look can be quite feminine with the turban and a dress but also masculine with flat shoes or trainers. It all works.
V: Can you talk about the shoot with Mert & Marcus?
RT: For me it’s all about family. They are like family. Erykah, once we met on set, we fell in love. Now she is family.
EB: They are just so awesome. They want to work with the artist and the model to make sure that she’s seeing what exactly is going to appear. I think that’s really kind and generous. And I love Riccardo’s heart. I like that he’s very thoughtful in his art and his design. Not only does he have a superb eye for silhouette and technique, but he also has an imagination that’s pretty out there. That’s why we get along pretty well. He allowed me to contribute to the style of theshoots.