Rick Owens DRKSHDW is a Paris based line as the diffusion line of Rick Owens, established in 2008. The brand features on dark colour palettes, a directional and glamorous look, experimental silhouettes and extraordinary cut. Occasional graphic print appeared in different seasons; asymmetric cuts, unconventional lengths and utilitarian aesthetics added in the details.
Rick Owens has turned his darkly glamorous, post-apocalyptic take on gothic grunge into a globally-renowned fashion business, built largely around his signature leather jackets. In addition to his main line, Owens has a furniture line and a number of diffusion lines: Drkshdw, Rickowenslilies and Hunrickowens.
The designer has been honoured by the CFDA twice, first with the Perry Ellis Award for Emerging Talent in 2002 after his debut catwalk show in New York, and again in 2017 with the prestigious Lifetime Achievement Award. Other accolades include the Cooper-Hewitt Design Award for Fashion Design and the Fashion Group International’s Rule Breaker Award, both of which he was awarded in 2007.
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, alabaster, bronze, leather, 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. Owens credits his wife, Michèle Lamy, as the creative force behind his furniture show. The exhibit showcases new works as well as classic pieces, in which some were envisioned for this newest store located in Soho, New York. The couple has worked together throughout the design process for his furniture line. Owens comes up with the drawings in which Lamy then creates the preliminary models for. Before his wife hires artisans to create the final pieces, the two carve, re-proportion, and make any adjustments beforehand. Owens leaves the installation process in Lamy’s hands, who writes the summaries for the pieces as well.
Owens has authored 3 books — L’ai-je bien descendu?, published in 2007, Rick Owens, published in 2011, and Rick Owens Furniture, followed by 2 books about Larry LeGaspi, which was published in November 2019 by publisher Rizolli.
He had launched five labels including Rick Owens, DRKSHDW, Rick Owens Lilies, Slab (Defunct), and Rick Owens Hun. His first museum exhibition and retrospective, chronicling over 20 years of his life’s work, entitled, “Subhuman Inhuman Superhuman” opened at the Triennale di Milano in December 15, 2017. In 2018 and 2019, he has collaborated with Birkenstock and French sneaker brand Veja, respectively.
In 2019, Owens dedicated his fashion show to Larry LeGaspi, the man he considers his creative forefather. He 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 he connects with soul culture—black soul culture and music all 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 November 2019, Owens returned to Los Angeles for the first time in 16 years to introduce the books.