Owens in September 2018
Richard Saturnino Owens
November 18, 1961
Michèle Lamy (m. 2006)
Early life and educationEdit
Rick Owens was raised in Porterville, California. His parents are John (d. 2015) and Concepción "Connie" Owens. Connie is Mexican. Owens was raised in a conservative, Catholic household. After graduating high school, he moved to Los Angeles to study art at Otis College of Art and Design, in Los Angeles, for two years before taking pattern-making and draping courses at Los Angeles Trade-Technical College. This led to work in the garment industry, designing copies of designer clothing.
Owens launched his fashion line in 1994, operating out of a store in Hollywood Boulevard. He moved to Paris in 2003 with his companion and then wife Michèle Lamy, setting up his home and atelier inside a historic five-storey building that previously served as offices for former French President François Mitterrand. His runway collections have been mounted in Paris since then. In 2004, Owens and Michèle Lamy established their own fashion company Owenscorp, and described their business partnership as “asking a gypsy to organise a war with a fascist.”
In July 2005, Owens introduced a furniture collection. Using raw plywood, marble, and moose antlers, the collection is inspired by his favorite shapes from Eileen Gray to Brâncuși to California skate parks. The furniture collection has since been shown at the Musée d'Art modern in Paris and the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles.
In 2013, Owens exhibited his 'Prehistoric' collection at Carpenters Workshop Gallery in London. Owens' design colour palette in this seven piece collection stretches from white to black, stopping nowhere in between. "The show is entitled 'Prehistoric' – a name that reflects its inspiration, the origins of humanity, it recalls a mysterious ancient civilisation. Its aura is one of spiritual ritual, archaic ceremony and supreme power".
A recipient of the 2002 Perry Ellis Award for emerging talent and the Lifetime Achievement Award by the Council of Fashion Designers of America (CFDA) in 2017, Owens was also awarded the Cooper-Hewitt Design Award for fashion design, as well as the Fashion Group International Rule Breaker Award in 2007.
Owens has authored 3 books — L'ai-je bien descendu?, published in 2007, Rick Owens, published in 2011, and Rick Owens Furniture. He had launched five labels including Rick Owens, DRKSHDW, Rick Owens Lilies, Slab (Defunct), and Rick Owens Hun.
In January 2019, Owens dedicated his fashion show to Larry LeGaspi, the man he considers his creative forefather. Owens has worked for years on a book about LeGaspi, to be published later in 2019.
Owens introduced Gaspi in his fall and winter 2019 women’s runway collection, "For me, as a teenager growing up in Porterville, California, what Larry LeGaspi did was a huge thing—the way he infiltrated middle America with this subversive sensibility [...] [h]e connects with soul culture—black soul culture and music [...] [a]ll of this stuff coming together was very important to this kid in Porterville." And, "I do think of Larry’s as a kind of biblical story... about the glory of lust and vice, something I talk about a lot, but also about dissipation and decline—which I also talk about a lot... When I was 15, I wanted to be dissipated. And now I am, a little bit. But there is also responsibility."
In January 2019, Owens partnered with eco-friendly footwear brand Veja a menswear sneaker design.
On September 2019, Owens announced another collaboration with sneaker label Veja for his womenswear collection.
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