Rick Owens: 'Selling out would've ruined me'
Rick Owens now realises selling his company would have "killed" him.
The fashion designer has shocked with his statements on the runway over the years, from men exposing their genitals to female models using other women as accessories on the catwalk. While many brands are part of big conglomerates like Kering and LVMH Moet Hennessy Louis Vuitton, Rick has managed to maintain independence over his label and remains both the main businessman and designer.
“It’s kind of a miracle in this day and age,” he told Footwear News.
“There was a minute where I considered selling out, because I was offered a lot of money that I wasn’t sure I would ever be offered again. But looking back, it would have killed me. I can’t really work with other people. I would hate to have to explain myself to anybody. I don’t have a design team because that’s what I get to do - that’s my fun.”
Rick took things down a notch for his men's spring/summer '17 show in Paris recently, where critics noted how vulnerable the designer came across. He gave the presentation, titled Walrus, a strong message as he portrayed dual urges to change and stay the same at once - an aspect the fashion industry is currently addressing.
“I don’t think it’s possible to really shock anybody anymore, although I’m surprised sometimes,” Rick added. “I don’t want to waste people’s time. It’s a busy calendar, so if you’re going to do a show, do a show.”
Helping him along the way is his wife, and partner of 25 years, Michele Lamy, who brings her own ideas to the company. Although it can be a struggle for the couple to strike balance, Rick has nothing but love and respect for his spouse's talent.
“We’re opposites,” he said. “Michele is very spontaneous, and her emotions are a lot more on the surface. When we work together, it’s impossible. She has such a freestyle way of getting things done that it makes me crazy. She respects me for some kind of stability, but also reacts against my straightness.”