100 posts tagged "Riccardo Tisci"
Clad in his signature blazer, light blue shirt, dark jeans, and black sneakers embellished with gleaming white swooshes, Nike CEO Mark Parker took the stage in Barcelona last week like the Steve Jobs of sports gear. A crowd including just about every soccer journalist in the world, along with a smattering of international fashion and lifestyle media, had gathered in the Spanish city, where football is worshiped with religious fanaticism, to see Parker introduce Nike’s latest project: the Magista football boot. (That’s a soccer cleat to you, Yankees.) The new shoes will be worn by more than seventy players during the World Cup in Brazil this June.
The Magista’s radical design features a knit upper with a collar that covers the ankle. Not the most exciting footwear development for those who aren’t concerned with ball control, but as with any Nike announcement, it offered an occasion to consider how the sportswear giant will continue to keep a foothold in style.
Many Nike innovations—Free, Flyknit, Lunar—find a second life in the fashion world. For Parker, who got his start at Nike in 1979 working as a footwear designer, that’s an unintended side effect of the process. Even so, it was impossible to escape the swoosh during the Fall ’14 shows, as everyone from Susie Bubble to My Theresa’s Veronika Heilbrunner mixed Nikes with their high-styled fashion week looks. And then, of course, there’s Riccardo Tisci, whose admiration for the brand has manifested in a much-buzzed-about range of collaborative kicks. Here, Parker talks to Style.com about authenticity, the sport-fashion crossover, and what it means to be an innovator.
“Innovation” is a word that gets thrown around a lot when you talk to people at Nike. From a design perspective, what does the word mean to you?
Well, it is a word that I think, just in the general vernacular, gets thrown around too much and abused. I’m not speaking about Nike necessarily—just in general.
For us it actually means creating a product that is truly new and better, so it’s about improving. We’re a performance-based company; we strive to help athletes get better and realize their potential. But “better” is a key word.
We take input from everyone, so the innovation process at Nike is driven by being incredibly observant; by the relationship we have with athletes; and by the deep, personal connections we have. We don’t just think about what athletes need to perform but what they need as individuals, as people with opinions. It’s not just about performance but aesthetics, too. So all of that gets factored in along with the latest in technologies, materials, components, and processes to improve.
You mentioned aesthetics. Often the big Nike innovations trickle down into the Nike Sportswear line, or they wind up being used by people who aren’t just concerned about performance but about fashion and style. At what point does that enter the equation?
Along the way. In many cases, after the fact. We don’t set out to try to be fashionable. That’s a by-product or a result. That’s fine. But we’re driven by trying to solve problems, and those problems are primarily functional problems.
We do, as I said, take into account the aesthetic, because that’s really important as an athlete—how do you look? When you look at yourself in the mirror, you want to look like you’re fast, you want to look like you’re strong, you want to look like you’re expressive, you have your own personal style. That’s part of the process, but it’s not like we’re sitting there saying, “We need to create something that is driven by trying to be fashionable.”
I think the authenticity and the uniqueness that comes from solving problems—the form that follows the function—is what makes us interesting from a fashion standpoint. Continue Reading “Can’t Kick the Swoosh: A One-on-One With Nike CEO Mark Parker” »
In the end, perhaps fashion isn’t so complicated. It boils down to this: How do I find my signature and how do I develop it over time? Three things that people have said to me on this subject have stuck in my mind:
Carlyne Cerf de Dudzeele (stylist): “I get inspiration from Mr. Alaïa, Mr. Lagerfeld. They know, you know? They know. They are not like all these young designers who change every six months. I think this is strange, because when you have talent inside, you never really change.”
Azzedine Alaïa (designer): “It’s inconceivable to me that someone creative can have a new idea every two months. Because if I have one new idea in a year, I thank heaven.”
Riccardo Tisci (designer), speaking approvingly of Hedi Slimane’s tenure at Saint Laurent: “I think Hedi, he wrote his first chapter [i.e., at Dior Homme] in a capital of fashion, and then he took his time off, and then he started from the same page. It’s like when you go to bed and you’re reading a book: You do the little corner, and then the night after, you start from the same page. And the aesthetic that he does really belongs to him. For sure, it is something that doesn’t look like anybody else, and that’s what I like.”
These thoughts were thrown into particularly sharp relief during a busy day of shows in New York yesterday.
What’s more remarkable about Kors: the fact that he’s now worth a billion dollars or the fact that, after three decades in business, he isn’t resting on his laurels? With his last two collections, he has brought his vision of American luxury into razor-sharp focus.
A very different designer from Kors, of course, but in his own way as American as apple pie or Pop Art. Scott has done what you do if you have your own signature: lived through a few seasons where he enjoyed the support of the faithful—and it’s some faithful; he draws the liveliest crowd in town (hey there, Jared Leto)—but didn’t have the full attention of the fashion press. Thanks to his recent appointment as creative director of Moschino, he’s firmly back in the media spotlight. He didn’t waste the opportunity, delivering a collection that riffed confidently on two great American pastimes: sex and sports.
How do you define the signature of a commercial juggernaut, best known for its menswear, which is now making a serious push into womenswear? That’s Jason Wu’s brief at Hugo Boss. He’s started to do it with the collateral: an Inez and Vinoodh-shot campaign; Gwyneth Paltrow as the face of the fragrance. And his debut collection? As Nicole Phelps said in her review, “Wu’s challenge going forward will be to maintain the Boss polish while figuring out ways to loosen up and have a bit more fun.”
I would be remiss not to mention Sui in this recap. She is one of the treasures of the New York calendar. Here’s Tim Blanks on what made her latest collection such a decadent delight.
Krakoff has been giving this subject a great deal of thought lately. After a few collections that felt the anxiety of European influence, he is now focused on creating his version of American luxury. Read Nicole Phelps’ review here.
Jack McCollough and Lazaro Hernandez were part of a pack of young New York designers who broke through in the last decade. When they celebrated their tenth anniversary a couple of years ago, they decided to drill down on their label’s identity, starting with a powerful but understated new logo. Their aesthetic, now reliably their own, is rooted in the contemporary New York art world. It’s no coincidence that yesterday’s show took place at Gavin Brown’s Enterprise, a gallery in the West Village.
IT’S RALPH, THOUGH
As it happens, I’m writing this after seeing Ralph Lauren’s show on this snowy Thursday morning. Lauren showed looks from his Polo line alongside his top-end collection today, and the move invigorated him. These clothes were as clear and direct as a Hemingway sentence. If America didn’t exist, Ralph Lauren would have had to invent it.
Back in November, we broke the news of LVMH’s new 300,000-euro LVMH Prize for Young Designers. According to WWD, 1,211 talents applied, and today the short list of thirty semifinalists, who will go on to present their collections to an esteemed panel of experts during Paris fashion week, were announced. CG by Chris Gelinas, Tim Coppens, Suno by Erin Beatty and Max Osterweis, Shayne Oliver’s Hood by Air, and Creatures of the Wind by Shane Gabier and Christopher Peters are among the New York-based brands that made the cut. Notable international names include London’s Craig Green, Simone Rocha, Thomas Tait, Meadham Kirchhoff (designed by Edward Meadham and Benjamin Kirchhoff), and Marques’Almeida (designed by Marta Marques and Paulo Almeida); Paris’ Jacquemus (by Simon Porte Jacquemus) and Atto (by Julien Dossena); Rome’s Stella Jean; and more.
Following the Paris presentations, judges will select ten hopefuls from the group of thirty, and these finalists will continue on to compete for the big prize. The decision, which will be made by a group including Nicolas Ghesquière, Marc Jacobs, Karl Lagerfeld, Humberto Leon, Carol Lim, Phoebe Philo, Raf Simons, and Riccardo Tisci, will be announced in May.