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At the forefront of fashion’s avant-garde for over a decade, American designer Rick Owens stands alone in the industry as an art school dropout turned creative superstar, with a distinct aesthetic of worn-out elegance. Born in California, Rick studied fine arts at Otis/Parsons College of Art and Design for two years before enrolling in a pattern-making class. The aim was to learn how to make clothes for himself to wear, but instead he unearthed a skill for a larger market. Although he didn’t start making clothes under his own name until 1994, his moody, toned, draped and deconstructed designs quickly earned him cult status amongst the fashion forward. Rick playfully describes his darkly chic clothes as ‘glunge’ – a mix of glamour and grunge. Rather than show on a catwalk, he instead travelled the world throughout the ‘90s presenting his clothes to fashion buyers and developing an impressive client base that included Madonna and Courtney Love. His reputation continued to grow by word of mouth and in 2002, American Vogue offered to sponsor his autumn/winter collection, his first on a runway. In the same year, Rick won the Perry Ellis Emerging Talent Award from the Council of Fashion Designers of America (CFDA). But it wasn’t until he signed a deal to distribute internationally and moved to Paris in 2003 that his career really took the tour de force. Today the Rick Owens label includes two diffusion lines alongside the main collection: Rick Owens Lillies, a collection of simple, stunning basics and DRKSHDW, a denim collection: Rick also designs furniture and has his own fur collection entitled Palais Royal.

Describe yourself... Flawed man with good intentions.
What would you be doing if you weren’t a designer? Gardening.
What is your favourite film? The Devils by Ken Russell.


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