His team, the Victorious Minotaurs, packs a star-studded cast
Nike couldn’t have found a better fit for its global partnership with the NBA than Riccardo Tisci, a man who loves basketball and Nike — and has a penchant for combining luxury with functionality. However, with Tisci fans on just about every NBA team, the designer couldn’t choose a single team’s logo. From that challenge, the fictitious Victorious Minotaurs were born.
W talked to Tisci about the new collection and his obsession with basketball. In his collections for Givenchy, he often inserted a number or bit of mesh — a reference to a team or gang.
“I always had sportswear in my blood, because I come from the street,” he explained to W. “I come from a very simple family, a council flat, basically. At school, I got scouted for the basketball team. I was a big promise because I was very tall and very fast. Basketball for me was my freedom—and my revenge. In the yard, there was no difference between sexuality, between class—that is the beauty of sport, any sport.”
The Victorious Minotaurs could actually put up some real competition on the court, considering two star point guards, the Nets’ D’Angelo Russell and WNBA No. 1 draft pick Kelsey Plum, are part of the team. Other MVPs include Detroit rapper DeJ Loaf (who has a Nike swoosh tattooed on her hip), artist Hugo McCloud, and Blessin Giraldo, the Baltimore teen at the center of award-winning documentary Step.
How do the Minotaurs suit up? In luxurious (but functional) style, of course. The uniform consists of a varsity jacket, track pants, a pair of sleeves, an oxford shirt, and a skirt made of basketball-player-shorts mesh. On that baby-blue oxford, Tisci told W this: “I always dreamed to have a Nike oxford shirt. It’s very strange, but it’s something very cool, I think. I can’t wait to wear it.”