What made you rope in Donatella Versace for your campaign, considering it is a competing fashion house?
I love Donatella Versace. I respect her as a designer and human being. It’s easy to say, as when success comes, everybody’s your friend. But when I started, Donatella and Karl Lagerfeld were the only two people to send me flowers and welcome me into the fashion business and that, I’m going to remember forever. Donatella, she knows how much I love Gianni (Versace). She knows that he is a big inspiration in my life. And one day, she looked at me and she said, “You remind me so much of Gianni.” For a second, I think my heart stopped.
You are opening a new store at Madison Avenue as well as in Milan, Rome and London. What about India?
Does it feature in your expansion plans? Why not ? You know, the defining moment in my career was when I returned after spending two months in India and did the first Riccardo Tisci collection in Milan. I remember it felt like a miracle had happened; like the beginning of something that would change my life.
You were the first to design for Kim, Kanye and Kendall...
Kim Kardashian is a really good friend. Whatever people think about her, she is an amazing woman and a beautiful girl. She has always been supporting me. She is the girlfriend of a very good friend of mine. Kim, Kanye and Kendall are going to be a family that I will be very close to.
You dressed Lea T, a transgender model. What made you decide to do this?
I support transgenders. Before, I was the different one. Then, at one point, suddenly, society thought that I had a voice in capitals, because I was a designer at Givenchy. I got powerful and I had followers. I thought one day, “Why not use this influence in something intelligent and help people who have problems?” So, I started four years ago, with transgenders. I used to have an assistant called Leo. I helped him go through his journey. Now, she is a very beautiful girl; she underwent a sex change operation. And me, I used this transgender journey in my advertising campaign. And I had everybody against me because nobody ever had the courage to use a transsexual.
Tell us about your collaboration with performance artist Marina Abramović?
Marina Abramović and I, we are more than friends. She’s been my mother for eight years. I’m her adopted child. Marina is amazing. She is an incredible woman. Nearly 70, and she’s killing everybody. She’s beyond everything. Sexually, aesthetically, in terms of intelligence and sensibility, everything is amazing in Marina.
Mariacarla Boscono has been your muse and friend. Who are your other muses?
Mariacarla (an Italian model) has a very special beauty: fragile and strong, intense and intelligent, extremely feminine yet with an androgynous attitude and a touch of aristocracy. She has a deep inner beauty that makes her stand out amongst everyone else; a beauty that a lot of women want to identify themselves with.
What is your vision for Givenchy?
I hope that Givenchy stays on the same path, as it has for the last five years. I wish for a future with Givenchy growing as a business, full of new, interesting possibilities and projects, surrounded by amazing creative people.
What is the one thing, that Givenchy introduced, which is till today loved by women all over the world?
The Givenchy woman is strong and confident. She has a real personality. She knows what she wants. There are many similarities between the Hubert de Givenchy woman and my own vision. When I design, I keep in mind, the codes of the house: the strictness, the play between the masculine and feminine, the austere and the romantic. Maybe today’s Givenchy woman is a little bit more ‘urban’, a working girl with more independence.
What do you know about India?
One of my favourite places in the world is Pune.