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Rick Owens: A Man And His Monument

Style.com recently caught up with Rick Owens – one of today’s most prolific designers – to question him about his inspirations, his collections and most recently his book. The interview provides some insight into Owen’s upcoming publication that documents the American born designer’s work and how they relate to today’s fashion market. You can read the interview in its entirety here or check out excerpts below.

Your aesthetic has been very consistent over the course of your career, and you’ve talked about returning to and tweaking your favorite shapes and themes. Does that consistency make it harder or easier to select what should be in a retrospective book like this one?
Maybe the highlights are more visible when the movement is slow. I didn’t have any problem choosing favorite moments, and having the excuse to deliberate over them was pure pleasure. Being able to select your strong moments and quietly sweep the weak ones under the rug is a very validating exercise that I highly recommend to anyone—the delusion of control!

The word “frivolous” crops up several times in the book: “The word [fashion] seems to imply a frivolous whim”; designers changing their aesthetics season in and season out are frivolous. What’s the opposite, to you, of this frivolity? And is this opposite what you’re striving for?
Oh dear, did I sound disapproving? Because frivolous is kind of my middle name. But I do like to propose something a bit more sedate and steady to balance out all the stimulation out there. When people stick to something, it makes me feel that they know who they are. And I hate throwing out something valid for the sake of grasping for the new. I’m not saying that I’ve got the only answer, but I feel honest about it.

There’s a great quote from you in the book about your process: “I love routine.” But the fashion world seems to have changed so much since you began designing. Has that impacted your process and your routine? Or do you do, basically, what you’ve always done?
It would probably be impossible to calculate how much I absorb of the world. I trust that I do and my gut response usually works better than overthinking things. So far. So yeah, I think I do what I’ve always done. My strategy has always been to just shut up and do a lot of work, all the time, and for better or worse, something will emerge. But I do try to stay alert.

What will we never see from Rick Owens?

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