In what might be classified as the latest in his long string of efforts to court some of hip-hop’s royality, Givenchy creative director Riccardo Tisci has cast Erykah Badu in the ad campaign for the French brand’s Spring 2014 collection. The R&B singer models ponchos and dresses in the images, which were shot by fashion photographers Mert & Marcus (who also were recently in the spotlight for shooting Kate Moss’ Playboy spread.)
There are several interesting things about this campaign. First and foremost, Badu is not the first member of hip-hop/R&B royalty Tisci has taken a fondness to. He befriended Ciara years ago, and she still regularly wears his designs (often opting for the menswear versions). And then, of course, there’s Tisci’s infamous friendship with Kanye West and (by extension) Kim Kardashian. He’s also been known to hang with folks like Rihanna, for whom he designed an entire tour wardrobe; it seems clear that Tisci has a fondness for artists with a certain musical hilt.
But his casting of Badu—who was major in the ’90s, further proving our point that the ’90s are back in full force—has yet another fascinating angle: for the past three seasons, Tisci has cast in his campaigns only women of color: Riley, Asia Chow, and Maria Borges . Now Badu makes it four.
“Erykah, she’s an icon—come on!” Tisci told Style.com of his choice. “What I want to do with my advertising campaign is spread the love. Already now it’s been three seasons that I’ve been using people that express something—they are great artists, or beautiful women, or stylish women, or models that I really believe in. It’s kind of a family portfolio.”
Head over to Style.com to check out the Givenchy images!