The designer has debuted the first look from his own label in nearly 20 years, months after splitting from Burberry

When Riccardo Tisci broke away from Burberry back in September, High Fashion Twitter speculated. Would he be taking over Versace? Embarking on a co-directorship with Donatella? Returning to Givenchy? Or would he, finally, be granted his own conglomerate-backed label? Though nothing is yet confirmed, it would seem like Tisci has leaned into the latter – debuting his first look on the back of Michaela Coel, who wore a stretch bodysuit with a lace sarong wrapped around her waist to the European premiere of Black Panther: Wakanda Forever.

Having shuttered his eponymous brand back in 2005 before taking the helm at Givenchy, this marks the first time in 17 years that the designer has done something by himself. It’s more of an easter egg than any official confirmation of his return, but judging by Tisci’s Instagram comments, it seems as though an announcement might be imminent. And if not imminent, then desired. “Congratulations Ricci, what we have been waiting for,” Naomi Campbell wrote. Elegant, modern, different. Bravo,” fashion critic Alexander Fury added. Just last week, Coel wore a custom piece from the designer’s tenure at Burberry on Jimmy Fallon’s talk show, but according to WWD, this premiere look was a joint effort between Tisci and her own mother.

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“To become a part of this moment in which his career comes full circle is a nourishing experience,” she told the trade mag, and the fact that he collaborated with her mother “displays a remarkable confidence and humility in his craft.” Over on Instagram, the designer spoke lovingly of Coel. “The first time I met Michaela, I immediately understood that she represents and expresses everything a woman means to me – freedom, beauty, a sense of adventure. So today, 17 years after I started my first label, Riccardo Tisci, Michaela and I decided to create a look that would celebrate our creativity and friendship.” It would be hot-headed to read this as part of a wider collection, but it’s clear Tisci is not quite finished with fashion yet.