The latest episode of Polimoda Duets, conducted by editor and fashion critic Stephan Rabimov, features an interview with Rick Owens, founder and creative director at Rick Owens.
Sitting in his Italian home in Lido, a tiny island in the Venetian lagoon, Owens begins his Duets by speaking empathetically about the global pandemic and how he spent his time in Paris amongst the trees he is transparently grateful to have. From the value in finding a community of like-minded people at school to exploring creativity and his love for provocation, Owens is soft-spoken and polite throughout his virtual interview as he discusses his life and approach to the evolution of his brand. Rick even debunks some of his famous quotes.
“Fashion is communication. The way you present yourself is who you want to be,” shares Owens. “It’s always been very important to me to kind of tweak conventions when I present clothes. Fashion is about symbols and subtle signifiers. When I make a black skirt, there is something in the cut of that, that is pushing against convention in a very subtle way. And somebody is gonna recognize that and align themselves with that and be encouraged that somebody is encouraging them to push in a different direction. And that eventually is going to influence something else. So this is the kernel of an influence."
Owens launched his independent label in 1994 in Los Angeles before moving to Paris in 2003 with his partner in life and creativity Michèle Lamy. "Creativity is 5% of the equation and the other 95% is execution" is what Owens profoundly believes in.
"A lot of people have great ideas, but to get it executed with the right touch [is what makes the difference]. Just in the way hymns are finished, there are so many decisions and so many elements that can go wrong. The way linings are put in, the way a piece of clothing feels. And then, getting it into the right store at the right time on time at the right price, there are so many variables. It’s magic when all of that comes together and it kind of works. And that’s why it’s so compelling — because it’s magic."
Rick Owens | Polimoda Duets #8
Idea: Danilo Venturi
Interview: Stephan Rabimov
Video: Piero Fragola & Elephant Studio
Cover Photography by Danielle Levitt