Watch The Throne’s cover could be the first link between couture and rap. Riccardo Tisci of Givenchy was appointed to design the artwork for the album collaboration between Kanye West and Jay-Z. When first approached to tackle the album cover, Tisci admitted to having some doubt and and said that he wasn’t ready:
“When they first asked me, I was really scared. And then, we began the discussions about movies, DJs, general things. So, I felt that the collaboration was necessary.”
In an interview with lifeandtimes.com, Tisci explains the inspiration behind this artwork:
L+T: What inspired the art? What influences did you draw from?
RT: The funny thing is, growing up, I’ve always loved JAY and Missy Elliot. But for me, this type of music always represented things like women, sex, diamonds, fur, cars and luxury. But when it came to the artwork, it was really important to me to represent the pure genius inside of them, and in some ways, go back to the roots – the real rap, which has been more experimental in the last few years. I also wanted to showcase how proud they are to be Americans. I really wanted to make them happy with the outcome. I decided on the color gold, which to me, represents luxury. It has always been about rap, including “the good life.” I really wanted to represent that in a color. And then, I wanted to represent America. And since they are both very handsome men, I wanted to touch on elements of sexuality and their strong personalities, showing off an animal dialogue, because I am obsessed with animals. And then, incorporate religion. And it didn’t have to be Catholic. It’s more about a point in life. For me, religion can be abstract. There are also elements of freedom as well.
Riccardo Tisci also designed the cover for the first single “H.A.M.” which you can check below:
H.A.M.’s design is strikingly similar to that of the scarves Tisci designed for the Fall Winter 2011 season:
There is also some resemblance between Watching The Throne’s cover and the embroider of the following look taken from the Fall 2011 Couture Collection: