California native Rick Owen’s fashion completely contrasts the clichés of the US state. Deep and dark night and post apocalyptic glamour instead of sunshine and happiness; deconstructed luxury and referencing gothic themes instead of Hollywood glitz and Baywatch babes; monochrome black, brown and grey instead of the Stars and Stripes in red, white and blue.
In the sparkling land of fashion, Rick Owen is [considered] the “Lord of Darkness”.
After dropping out of fashion school and finishing his pattern cutter apprenticeship, he first produced copies of other designers’ pieces for the black market. In 1994 he finally launched his own brand and was able to first establish himself in Los Angeles.
Since 2001, all designs are produced exclusively in Italy, one year later he moved to Europe with his muse and wife Michèle Lamy. In 2002 Owens took over as creative director for fur fashion house Revillon in Paris. The same year the CFDA awarded him as the year’s newcomer talent and he presented his first runway show at the New York Fashion Week -- with active support from Anna Wintour. Owens’ fashion shows make clear that gestures mean more to the designer than clothes.
After leaving Revillon in 2006, Owens and Lamy launched their own fur collection under the name Palais Royal (now RICKOWENSHUN) and opened their first boutique in Paris. The diffusion lines DRKSHDW (since 2008) and LILIES (women’s wear since 2006) followed.
Since 2010, Owens also designs and distributes his own avant-garde furniture collection in his own stores and some carefully collected retailers and galleries.
By now, Owens runs nine own stores, designs jewelry with Lamy under the name of HUNROD that goes with his fashion designs and has developed successful capsule collections with brands such as EASTPAK or adidas Originals.
Deconstruction and refinement define Rick Owens’ collections: luxurious materials such as cashmere, fur or silk are faced with washed leather or unrendered seams. Extravagant processing and tricky details meet with reduced cuts and dark mysticism. Coquetry works differently. Owens’ fashion seems so coincidental as if it wasn’t even about itself. In reality, each detail is planned meticulously. The monochrome color scheme in black, brown and grey is every so often breached by tones of moderate green, red or blue.
Bestseller and classics are for example the leather jackets and coats, tanktops and jogging pants that constantly reappear with new designs in Rick Owens’ collections. Exclusive accessories made from exotic leathers and fur as well as extraordinary genuine jewelry complete the Rick Owens Look.
Owens, who cultivates the image of the underdog has spawned a lot of competitors and copycats - but thanks to his artisanal abilities and his dark, individual style, Rick Owens plays in a league of his own.