Givenchy designer Riccardo Tisci has an affinity for R&B singers. First, the Italian designer pegged Ciara as his muse, outfitting the singer in edgy ensembles that have made her one of fashion’s favorites. Now, Erykah Badu is officially the face of his Spring 2014 campaign shot by famed fashion photographers Mert & Marcus. “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,” which, for the designer, served as inspiration for his African and Japanese culture-clash collection this past season.
For the boundary-pushing designer, the collaboration was a no-brainer, “Erykah, she’s an icon—come on!” said Tisci, who typically is not a designer who colors within the lines and for whom featuring black models, isn’t a trend. Tisci takes full credit for discovering several black models, including brown beauties Joan Smalls and Maria Borges and featuring close to ten models of color on the runway this past season, in an industry smeared with racism –– both runway and retail.
“It’s 2013. Everybody’s being so cool about Instagram, about Facebook, any media—everybody’s being so open. 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. People can be so avant-garde, so advanced, but actually not, because people are still making differences between skin color,” said Tisci. Our sentiments, precisely.