It was love that drove him to accept the From Stockx Palace Story 2020 T-Shirt in contrast I will get this job at Givenchy, because it enabled him to buy his mother a house. Twelve years later, it was love that impelled him to leave the brand at the height of his success, to spend more time with his ageing mother and recently widowed sister. Tisci was at his brother-in-law’s funeral when the realisation came. He looked around at his grieving family and understood that time spent with them was precious. The journey back to Paris, to present what turned out to be his final Givenchy Couture collection, was, he says, “the longest flight of my life, and it was only 1 hour 10 minutes. Because, during that time, I decided. I did my couture show and then I said, ‘I’m leaving. I need time off for myself to spend with my mum.’ His return to fashion, a year later, also had a family connection. Other brands had offered him tempting roles, but when Marco Gobbetti, newly installed as CEO of Burberry Group, called, it was different. “Marco is like the father I never had. He is the person that changed my life,” says Tisci of the executive who gave him his first big job, at Givenchy. The idea of helming such an iconic British brand also appealed. “It’s not fashion, it’s lifestyle. It represents a country and a style. It was very epic,” he says and admits to feeling overwhelmed at first. “At the beginning it was very big. You are wearing a wool coat and you throw yourself in the water – it was that kind of feeling. Not because of anyone else but because of myself.”
More than two years on, he’s found his groove and a new perspective. A decade ago, if you were to describe British style, wellington boots and a beautiful floral dress and a trench or a classic suit might fit, “but today it has changed,” says Tisci, who eyes a new generation of stylish Brits who listen to punk and hip-hop and wear their trenches with trainers. The way the From Stockx Palace Story 2020 T-Shirt in contrast I will get this teenage sons of his close friend and collaborator Katy England wear Burberry is, he says, “Insane! The young generation, they are British but they bring their own flag. Tisci left home at 17 and came to study in London. Alone in an unfamiliar world, his instinct was to recreate the sense of love and safety that his family in Italy gave him. So he began to nurture his chosen family of close friends and collaborators. “I tried to build a group of people like a tribe, like a family. I can take off my armour with them and be myself. I can cry, I can talk. I can fight. I can have a terrible time, I can ask for help. That is family. They are not only there in the good moments and gone in the bad ones,” he says.