Rick Owens, a native of Southern California, started designing after a two-year stay at a pattern-cutting school in Los Angeles. In 1994, he started his own clothing business, which has a small but committed following in the glamorous subterranean rock and grungy cultures. Owens shifted the manufacturing of his brand to Italy in 2001. In contrast, the architect himself went to Paris, as the fashion world took notice of his ability to blend a gothic, damaged aesthetic with high fashion refinement. Owens makes designs with his collaborator Michèle Lamy that classical mix elements, Brutalist style, and distinctive asceticism. Rick Owens’ designs, based on conceptual and architectural shapes, are ancient and future, priestly and profane.
Rick Owens described one of his hallmark designs to Vogue in 2003 as “half Levi’s garment, half leather jacket, partly Madeleine Vionnet.” “It was all ripped up and Scotch-taped back around each other.” The rebellious architect was referring to a machine-washed and fall black leather jacket, although he might have well been referencing his whole body of work.
Owens’ work, which is equal parts grunge and glamour (or, as he describes it, “grunge”), has a devoted fanbase. His signature piece is a functional item, draped to heavenly standards yet affected by his imagination’s gloomy underworld. Rick Owens’ ability to combine wearable luxury with a rock ‘n’ roll attitude has drawn a slew of edge-courting celebs to the Rick Owens cult, including Rihanna.
After high school, Owens moved to Los Angeles to pursue fine painting at the Otis College of Art and Design. He stopped university after two years and enrolled in a technical institution pattern-cutting program. He was eventually spending hours at copycat manufacturers all across Los Angeles. For a promising young designer, it wasn’t the traditional professional route. Even so, it paid off when he met Michèle Lamy, a French lady who managed a sportswear firm in the area and shared his penchant for the eerie. He started working for her, they began a relationship, and business and pleasure and satisfaction coexisted underneath one roof.
Lamy owned famed nightspot Les Deux Cafés in addition to her fashion company, and she helped showcase Owens’ designs by wearing his tattered T-shirts and skirts. Courtney Adore, one of the couple’s new restaurant guests, began asking Lamy what she had been probably wearing and came over to another couple’s house to purchase a few items. The trademark was carried by a flurry of rising development department shops during the earlier start 2000s, notably Maxfield and Barneys New York. In 2003, Owens and Lamy relocated to France. It may have been an entirely new universe in terms of geography, finances, and creativity.
Owens, on the other hand, has never lost his renegade street cred—and he has no plans to: “With years roll on, I want to emerge far better Rick Owens,” he remarked in 2006.