The California-born fashion and furniture designer Rick Owens has developed a unique style that he describes as “luxe minimalism.” As has been the case with many American icons, the French were among the first to recognize Owens’s distinctive, Goth flair. Former Vogue Paris editor Carine Roitfeld was an early adopter, and (tellingly) she’s frequently photographed in a Rick Owens coat that’s been in her closet for at least five seasons.
Though his designs are simple and spare, Owens thrives on theatricality — producing wildly original runway shows featuring gender-fluid models of all ages and shapes. Inspired by his longtime partner and muse, Michele Lamy, clothes and furniture alike feature dark grays, blacks and browns. Like his frontier forebears, Owens finds his strongest influences in nature — his furniture and housewares have simple, organic shapes, and a few items even feature his distinctly 21st-century take on antlers. (They’d look exquisite in a Bond villain’s Alpine hideaway — not a Wild West saloon). He’s also drawn to unorthodox materials like bone and petrified wood.
For many aficionados of Owens’ clothes, the gateway drug is a distressed leather motorcycle jacket. He describes the look as “glunge ”— a portmanteau of “glamour and “grunge.” Owens uses only the finest materials, although they’re not always visible from the outside. If you’re lucky enough to be swaddled in one of Owens’s edgy, sable-lined creations, you’ll know where the good stuff is hidden — and you’ll never want to take it off. Take a look at the offerings on these pages and be inspired.