Erykah Badu - Erykah Badu to front Givenchy campaign
Ricardo Tisci has chosen singer Erykah Badu to front Givenchy's new campaign in the hopes of banishing racism from the runway.
Erykah Badu has become the new face of Givenchy.
The stylish soul singer has been chosen by Ricardo Tisci to front the French fashion house's new Africa-meets-Japan themed campaign, which is modelled entirely by women of colour.
Ricardo enthused to Style.com: ''Erykah, she's an icon - come on! She's one of the most stylish women I've met in my life. She's got such a good sense of proportion, of colours.
''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.''
He posted a picture of himself striking a supermodel pose with Erykah on Instagram, which was met with positive reactions from his followers, with one branding the decision ''genius'' and another ''divine''.
The designer has also cast Maria Borges, Asia Chow and Riley in the ads, in a landmark move which he hopes will set an example for the rest of the industry and banish racism on the runway.
He explained: ''It's 2013. Everybody's being so cool about Instagram, about Facebook, any media - everybody's being so open. At the end of the day, why are not so many black girls or Latin girls in shows? When you have an American president who is black!
''When I see this happening, it's quite sad, I think. People can be so avant-garde, so advanced, but actually not, because people are still making differences between skin color.''
Ricardo also touched upon the Diversity Coalition's tireless campaign to shame designers who only used white models on the runway.
He said: ''There was a lot of talk this season in fashion. I was one of the persons who ended up not being touched by this. I discovered Joan Smalls, I discovered Maria [Borges].
''I've always been supporting them. For me, I grew up in a family and I grew up in a culture, an education, that we are all the same.''
Givenchy has always championed diversity, previously casting a transsexual model and an albino model in their campaigns.