Richard Saturnino Owens, better know as Rick Owens , has turned his darkly glamorous post-apocalyptic take on gothic grunge (a highlight of the Paris ready-to-wear schedule) into a respectably sized business, built largely around his signature leather jackets.
In addition to his main line, Owens has a furniture line and creates collections for Revillon and his diffusion line DRKSHDW.
Having dropped out of Otis College of Art and Design, Owens took a course in pattern cutting at Los Angeles’ Trade Technical College. A scarcity of work led to Owens accepting a position cutting patterns for illegal copies of designer clothing. In 1994 he began his own label, selling exclusively to Charles Gallay, one of LA’s hippest and most directional retailers. In 2001 the designer sought international expansion and agreed a distribution deal with Eo Bocci Associati; as a consequence the designer’s production relocated to Italy.
Owens broke into the highest echelons of the industry following French Vogue’s publication of an image of Kate Moss wearing one of his now famous leather jackets. Owens was able to utilise the momentum, with assistance from Anna Wintour and American Vogue, which sponsored his first show at New York Fashion Week’s Spring Summer 2002 season. He also began his longstanding collaboration with stylist Panos Yiapanis in 2001; to date Yiapanis has worked on every single one of Owens’ spectacular presentations.
In 2002, Owens was appointed artistic director at Revillon, the French fur company that was founded in 1723. In 2002 Owens won the Council of Fashion Designers of America Perry Ellis Emerging Talent Award. In 2007 he was awarded a Cooper-Hewitt National Design Award and the Fashion Group International's Rule Breaking Award.
Working and producing in Europe led him to move from Los Angeles to Paris, and show during the Paris collections. Owens is married to Michèle Lamy, his muse and business partner. The pair have lived in Paris since 2003.