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The BoF Podcast | Rick Owens on Lessons Learned From the Pandemic

In an interview from the BoF archives, BoF editor-at-large Tim Blanks spoke with the designer about his first collection after 2020 and why he feels a sense of optimism following the pandemic.
The BoF Podcast, Rick Owens

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Background:

At the start of 2021, Rick Owens wanted his next show to reflect the toll the pandemic had taken on the world. Held at Venice’s Tempio Votivo, a shrine to the fallen soldiers of the two world wars, Owens centred the outing around “anger and darkness.” Despite this sombre outlook, the designer told BoF editor-at-large Tim Blanks that a political shift, with the inauguration of US President Joe Biden, gave him a sense of optimism. On the latest episode of the BoF Podcast, we revisit this thought-provoking conversation, covering Owens‘ Autumn/Winter 2021 men’s collection, the lessons he learned from the pandemic and his renewed hope for society.

Key Insights:

  • For Owens, constraints can create fertile ground for creativity. “It has been quiet change and I like the idea of working within small boundaries,” said Owens. “I like the idea of doing the best with what you have got.”
  • Owens created his collection when the world was facing growing political uncertainty and instability but he said “one of the most reassuring things [in this world] is that everything usually balances out. We have survived this long because there is just a tiny bit more of goodness than badness. Just enough to keep us surviving.”
  • Owen’s men’s shows in particular are deeply personal. “My men’s runway shows are always about men’s flaws and men’s worst urges because they are auto-biographical,” he said. “When I am thinking about men I am thinking about my own experience and my own experience is very critical and I am always very conscious of my worst urges and where they are coming from.”

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