Exclusive: Erykah Badu for Givenchy SS 2014 Campaign by Mert & Marcus

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Erykah Badu, the legendary queen of Neo Soul — made headlines this week when news broke out that she is the new face of Givenchy's new Spring 2014 campaign, shot by the infamous duo — Mert Alas & Marcus Piggott. This comes as no surprise to loyal followers of French fashion house's creative director, Riccardo Tisci, as Givenchy is typically known for pushing the envelope when it comes to its attention-grabbing ad campaigns.

"Erykah, she’s an icon—come on!” Tisci said in an interview with Style.com.

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.

Although Tisci had never worked with Badu before, he used her as inspiration and always kept her image in the back of his mind when designing his African-meets-Japan themed Spring 2014 collection.

She’s one of the most stylish women I’ve met in my life,” he said. “She’s got such a good sense of proportion, of colors.

It seems Tisci’s decision to use the iconic First Lady of Neo Soul represents more than just an unexpected cover choice. For Tisci on behalf of the Givenchy brand, it also plays as a deliberate move to introduce more faces of color and culture into the fashion world.

I discovered Joan Smalls, I discovered Maria [Borges]. I discovered a lot of black girls, and I’ve been always supporting them. For me, I grew up in a family and I grew up in a culture, an education, that we all are the same.”

Tisci admits the contradictory of social media and the openness we now have from one media outlet to the next is still so close-minded and finds this quite disturbing:

People can be so avant-garde, so advanced, but actually not, because people are still making differences between skin color.

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I don't know about you, but I was thrilled when I first found out about Erykah Badu gracing the face of Givenchy's Spring 2014 campaign. I cannot wait to see the full spread when it comes out. Photography duo, Mert Alas & Marcus Piggott are so beautifully talented and capture the most stunning editorial pictures! Riccardo Tisci has created a gorgeous collection filled with stunning earthy colours and textures, while incorporating seamless asymmetrical lines, filled with pops of reds and oranges. Oh, and forget the heels on the runway, he kept it organic, natural and most fitting with the use of leather sandals. Meshing an African-meets-Japan themed Spring 2014 collection is original and genius and Tisci couldn't have done it better.