Former Givenchy creative director Riccardo Tisci may have been famously known in the fashion industry, but his first dream back then was actually wanted to become a professional basketball player. In fact, he has been shooting hoops in his birthplace in Taranto, Italy since the age of 7. Unfortunately, a leg accident caused him to rethink his dream career.
“I played basketball until I was 13,” said Tisci. “One of the reasons I started working in fashion is because I stopped — I had a little accident with my left leg and I broke my tendon.”
Recently, Tisci has spoken about his latest Nike Dunk design, basketball and much more in an interview. Here is an excerpt you can read below.
Would you say that basketball was the beginning of your fascination with the romance of American culture?
Oh yeah. Italy and Italian culture has always been a little bit ‘the American dream’ – the television is a part of America, everything comes from America so Italians get a little bit obsessed. I’ve got this in my blood. (But) I was obsessed in a different way from kids my age. I was obsessed with the symbology. And for me, Nike is one of the symbols of America. When I was a child, I was thinking Guns N’ Roses, Marlboro – and then I was obsessed with Nike. And in the late 80s and early 90s, Nike was a big thing for Italians. And it was related to basketball.
Basketball’s about community and you’ve always been about a tribe. How did it inspire your Nike collection when you were designing?
Everything I’m doing is about that, because I come from a very big and dispersed family, so I know how to really live in a group of people, in good and bad weather. When I was a child, I grew up on the streets because my family was not very financially strong. So I didn’t have the money to do many things that other kids could have. So my free time and my growing up, all my experience was done in the streets. So having a part of that energy, the love of people together, deserves to belong to what I’m doing – and that is my strength.
To read the full interview, click here.