Rick Owens

Rick Owens Casts Alien-Looking Couple for His Converse Campaign

Rick Owens Casts Alien-Looking Couple for His Converse Campaign

Fecal matter on the sole of your shoe? Eww! Not cool.
Fecal Matter in a campaign for Converse x Rick Owens sneakers? Super cool!
Owens has conscripted the alien-looking Canadian couple of Hannah Rose Dalton and Steven Raj Bhaskaran — who founded Fecal Matter in 2016 and who boast 751,000 followers on Instagram — to front the campaign for the square-toed Converse x Drkshdw TurboDrk Chuck 70.
“I love proposing a tolerant and inclusive world by committing to a nonstandard personal aesthetic,” Owens told WWD. “My friends Fecal Matter do that so beautifully and agreed to present this collab for me.”
Pale and bald, with darkened eyeballs and zombie makeup around their mouths, Dalton and Bhaskaran donned skintight leather bodysuits and huddled close together for the campaign shoot, putting the focus on their chunky sneakers with their outsized tongues climbing up the shin.

The Fecal Matter campaign is to launch on social media.
Owens unveiled the Converse collaboration, under the umbrella of his Drkshdw brand, at his fall 2021 men’s show in Venice, Italy, last January.
The designer gave Brutalist airs to Chuck Taylors, adding three toe caps and two layers of rubber outsole, giving the shoe heft and the look of bumper cars.
Exaggerated, bombastic and “a little grotesque” are some of the adjectives he has used to describe his approach to sneaker design. In an interview with WWD earlier this year, he noted his “aesthetic gesture has always been about promoting the idea that perfect or traditional beauty can be very strict and cruel” and that pushing the boundaries “signifies tolerance for other ideas.”
The Converse sneakers are to go on sale on July 27 at converse.com, rickowens.com, Rick Owens boutiques and other select retailers around the world. The collaboration between Converse and Owens is to continue throughout 2021.
Besides its popular Instagram feed, Fecal Matter also markets a range of clothing and accessories on Depop.
See also:
Rick Owens Tells All About His New Converse Collaboration
Rick Owens Men’s Fall 2021
Converse and Kim Jones Launch First Collab

Rick Owens Unveils Sustainable Capsule With Swampgod

Rick Owens Unveils Sustainable Capsule With Swampgod

MILAN — Instagram has turned into one of the most effective arenas for talent scouting.
Venice-based creative Arturo Boem, aka Swampgod, captured the attention of Rick Owens‘ team on the popular social media account, where he posts images of the upcycled garments he likes to work with and customize. Brought to the attention of the American designer, Swampgod was called by the luxury brand to collaborate on a sustainable collection of upcycled pieces, which was presented on Tuesday at Milan’s multibrand store Modes, the exclusive retail partner of the project.
“I am loving the current conversation in the fashion industry about thinking more responsibly about production and waste, and in this positive mood I have asked Swampgod to alter some of our past deadstock in the same scotch tape spirit I started my collections 20 years ago. He ripped our old stock garments apart and reconfigured them into new pieces that end up deconstructing my deconstructions,” Owens said. “I found him on Instagram, of course, and realizing he lived down the island from me on the Lido in Venezia, thought it was a sign and invited him to corrupt and collage at our factory 160 kilometers away, making it a neighborhood project. Doesn’t hurt that he is the perfect model for his own creations.”

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Rick Owens sustainable capsule created in collaboration with Swampgod. 
Courtesy of Rick Owens

Swampgod selected around 40 pieces from Rick Owens’ past collections that he personalized with his signature touch. The capsule includes a range of bomber jackets, sleeveless tops, hoodies, but also accessories and footwear styles, which the young Italian creative decorated with effects mimicking the water stains on Venetian buildings.
“People tend to think about Venice in a very romantic and sweetened way, but us, as residents, we know all the difficulties that we have to face living in the lagoon, the humidity, the gray, the flood water…that’s what I want to tell with my work,” Swampgod said.
As Rick Owens chief executive officer Elsa Lanzo explained that the capsule, which features very limited quantities of each garment — some of the pieces are actually one-of-a-kind — is the first iteration of a project of sustainable capsules that the brand will drop in collaboration with local artists.
Lanzo, who attended the in-store launch of the capsule, also revealed that Owens and his team are gearing up to return to the physical format in September. “We need that, we miss that so much,” she said. “As Rick always says, the show is the real celebration of our work and we cannot wait to return to stage live events.”
SEE ALSO: 
H&M Foundation Launches Sustainable ‘Billion Dollar’ Collection
Sustainable Packaging, Free Returns Top-of-Mind for Shoppers
M.I.A. Designs Sustainable Eyewear Capsule With Parley for the Oceans

Adrift With Rick Owens

Adrift With Rick Owens

Rick Owens’ fall 2021 show managed to embrace the testing nature of the times, while simultaneously providing inspiration for a freer future.
One of the only designers to incorporate masks at his outdoor Venice show, the models’ social distance against a foggy view of the Adriatic Sea imbued a sense of isolation. A city known for its Carnival and bustling and crowded Piazza San Marco felt silent and almost abandoned.
And yet despite their contemplative nature, the stark designs and staging also reminded (virtual) audiences of a future where travel and exploration exist. Glimpses of the aptly nicknamed “City of Masks” were revealed, and — like us — the models seemed to take it in with a sense of reverence — and a newfound appreciation.

Adam Katz Sinding photographed these “backstage” shots exclusively for WWD, providing a rare peek behind the curtain — once a mainstay of fashion show coverage but in this restricted moment, a more treasured opportunity.
For WWD’s review, see here.

Rick Owens RTW Fall 2021  Adam Katz Sinding/WWD

The Top Trends for Men This Fall

The Top Trends for Men This Fall

Needless to say, the fall 2021 runway season has been a weird one.
Not only because the shows have been digital and we’ve sat in our homes watching them online, but also because designers presented a comprehensive juxtaposition of wearable clothes and high concept ideas. The biggest trends sprung from the idea of creating the perfect suit for right now. The results were baggie and comfortable designs reminiscent of the nineties slouchy style.
The idea of making outerwear a fall trend sounds ridiculously obvious, but this season’s statement-making coats were at the forefront more than ever.
The same applies to the array of knits shown this season, from turtlenecks and large textured cardigans to extra, extra long crewnecks. The long johns at Prada signaled that the concept of underwear as something intimate-only is out the window.

Dior brought back pomp and circumstance with his the military uniform universe, while Virgil Abloh at Louis Vuitton played with all American references, resulting in some great varsity jackets.
All that said, an underlying sense of optimism was the key message, and the use of bright colors was a clear signal that fashion is feeling hopeful — and so are we. Here are the top trends of the fall season.
COMFORT SUITS
After nearly a year of turning the living room into a boardroom, designers are channeling the work from home routine into the perfect blend of coziness and function. The result is a suit that works as well in a Zoom world as it does in real life.

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Ermenegildo Zegna Men’s Fall 2021  Courtesy of Ermenegildo Zegna

Kolor Men’s Fall 2021  Courtesy of Kolor

Y/Project Men’s Fall 2021  Courtesy of Y/Project

COLOSSAL COATS
This season’s stars range from textured graphic numbers and dressing gown styles to inside out designs and over the top, evening-inspired, unisex top coats, all of which guarantee to grab attention.
Louis Vuitton Men’s Fall 2021  Courtesy of Louis Vuitton

Casablanca Men’s Fall 2021  Courtesy of Casablanca

GmbH Men’s Fall 2021  Courtesy of GmbH

KNIT HITS
Jonathan Anderson’s conceptual “knit over knit” design at Loewe is a clear example of the cozy to the max mood that’s injecting new life into this men’s wear staple.
Loewe Men’s Fall 2021  Courtesy of Loewe

Etudes Men’s Fall 2021  Courtesy of Etudes

Dries Van Noten Men’s Fall 2021  Courtesy of Dries Van Noten

NO LONGER UNDERWEAR
A clear result of the times we are living in is the idea of wearing underwear as a statement fashion piece, like the long johns at Prada or the classic tighty whities on the opening look at Rick Owens. The trend speaks to the intimate-at-home vibe that permeated the season.
Prada Men’s Fall 2021  Courtesy of Prada

ERL Men’s Fall 2021  Courtesy of ERL

Rick Owens Men’s Fall 2021  Courtesy of Rick Owens

COLOR CODE
The use of bright blues and greens — as well as a good amount of red — packed a punch of positive vibes, telegraphing an optimistic message for the future.
JW Anderson Men’s Fall 2021  Courtesy of JW Anderson

Phipps Men’s Fall 2021  Courtesy of Phipps

Casablanca Men’s Fall 2021  Courtesy of Casablanca

AMERICAN IDOLS
Whether it’s a classic collegiate varsity jacket at Louis Vuitton or the preppy-inspired reworkings of a knit vest at Y/Project, these heritage pieces redefined the All-American classics trend.
Louis Vuitton Men’s Fall 2021  Giovanni Giannoni/WWD

Y/Project Men’s Fall 2021  Courtesy of Y/Project

Reese Cooper Men’s Fall 2021  Courtesy of Reese Cooper

UNIFORM APPROACH
At Dior, the pillar of men’s wear — suits — received the royal treatment by using the dress code from the inductees into the Académie des Beaux-Arts in Paris. Meanwhile, a traditional admiral’s naval coat at Wales Bonner exuded a retro vintage vibe ideal for Gen Z and beyond.
Dior Men’s Fall 2021  Courtesy of Dior

Wales Bonner Men’s Fall 2021  Courtesy of Wales Bonner

JW Anderson Men’s Fall 2021  Courtesy of JW Anderson

Rick Owens Tells All About His New Converse Collaboration

Rick Owens Tells All About His New Converse Collaboration

“I was never a sneaker person, and it’s ironic that’s how I ended up,” Rick Owens said in an exclusive interview to discuss his new collaboration with Converse, unveiled today at his fall 2021 men’s show in Venice, Italy.
Indeed, although he is partial to platform boots for strolling around Paris and taking his runway bow, Owens has become a guru for sneakerheads and hype beasts, who collect his Geobaskets and Runners and have gone bananas for his collaborations with the likes of Adidas and Veja.
Not bad for a guy who fastidiously avoided sneakers when he was growing up in Porterville, Calif., and would hit the gym for weightlifting wearing a black sweatshirt or hoodie, army-surplus cutoffs layered over leather jeans — and biker boots. “I was very dramatic in those days. It was in Hollywood,” he demurred, also noting, “I don’t perspire that much.”

Growing up, “I just hated the informal and suburban ethos of sneakers,” he confessed.
And then came The Ramones, the American punk rock band whose shaggy hair, biker jackets, beat-up jeans and sneakers convulsed the music scene in the Seventies and Eighties and captivated Owens, who so adored their graphic style that he once named a shoe after them, prompting a cease and desist order.
“They wore Chuck Taylors and that was my Converse image,” Owens said over Zoom last week from his minimalist, travertine-lined apartment on the Lido.

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“I’ve been referencing [Converse] for years, so when they suggested a collaboration, it seemed like a good, natural thing to do,” the designer said matter-of-factly. “And it kind of closed this poetic circle since I’ve been referencing them for so long and they were cool with it.”
Not that Owens would ever use the word poetic to describe his interpretation of Converse classics.
Exaggerated, bombastic and “a little grotesque” are some of the adjectives he threw out to describe his approach to sneaker design.
“I always think of it as kind of corrupting something that exists. And I don’t mean that in an aggressive way,” he said, explaining that his “aesthetic gesture has always been about promoting the idea that perfect or traditional beauty can be very strict and cruel” and that pushing the boundaries “signifies tolerance for other ideas.”
Rick Owens  Danielle Levitt/Courtesy of Rick Owens

The approach also yields some seriously cool kicks.
“I’ve had a cap-toed sneaker in my collection forever, which is an exaggerated parody of a sneaker,” Owens said. “There was some kind of tipping point and they just took off.”
For his Converse collaboration, under the umbrella of Owen’s Drkshdw brand, the designer gave Brutalist airs to Chuck Taylors, adding three toe caps and two layers of rubber outsole, giving the shoe heft and the look of bumper cars.
The pentagram, a recurring symbol of Drkshdw, replaces the star on another style that he described as “mega chunky.” Owens characterizes Drkshdw as “a little bit rougher,” darker and younger than his signature label. “It’s like a Ramones’ song,” he concluded.
Owens first put sneakers on the runway as a guest of the Pitti Immagine trade fair in 2006.
“I never thought it was much of a statement or anything,” he said. “They referenced all of the classic sneakers I’d ever seen. I reduced the detail and simplified them and kind of created my cartoon version of sneakers.”

“Fearless” is how Brandis Russell, global vice president of footwear at Converse, described Owens’ provocative approach.
“Breaking convention to advance fit, form and function” is the goal of collaborations at Converse and “Rick is the master of doing this,” she told WWD. “He’s defined an aesthetic around provocative form and distortion of shape and had referenced our footwear within this approach.”
Russell noted this collaboration marks the first time Converse has introduced a square toe in a century of existence.
The Converse x Drkshdw line is unisex in a full size range, with the initial offering priced at $165 to $170. It includes two TurboDrk Chuck 70s, initially in black, with lily white to follow.
“Rick Owens will continue to reimagine and re-articulate classic Converse sneakers in 2021 through his Drkshdw line,” Russell said. “We’ll continue to work together, and to push the boundaries of our footwear together.”
Asked about the role of collaborations, Russell called them “incredibly important” and “as a brand, we look at the long-term impact of a collaboration and to continue to invest in partners that can mutually evolve with our brand.”
Ongoing collaborators at Converse include Comme des Garçons Play, A-Cold-Wall, Feng Chen Wang, Off-White and Tyler, the Creator. Among newer names to the fold are Telfar Clemens, Chinatown Market and Kim Jones, who has a preppy-tinged range releasing this spring, Russell noted.
In the interview, Owens confessed that he had long bristled at the idea of collaborations, his initial thinking being, “I don’t like too many cooks in the kitchen, and I don’t like committee decisions.”
“Initially, I would just completely dismiss them as just being some kind of hype exercise that was not part of my world,” he said. “But on the other side, I came to realize that it’s a great way to meet new people, and see how other people do things.…And it’s kind of fun working with different teams, and it’s stimulating, it kind of forces me to think of challenges and new ways to approach things. So it’s kind of a healthy thing to do.”
Last year, Owens unveiled collaborations with Birkenstock, Moncler and Champion. He said he chooses collaborations that are meaningful for him “and that have some kind of logic.”
“Opening the doors to collaborations came very, very gradually and very, very late,” he said, adding with a wink and a chuckle: “I’m a lot friendlier than I used to be.”
See also:
Rick Owens Unveils First Retrospective in Milan
Moore From L.A.: Rick Owens Isn’t Over L.A. Yet
Free Willy: Retailers and Internet Reacts to Rick Owens
WATCH: Rick Owens Men’s Fall 2021 Show:

Why Capes Are The New Wardrobe Addition You Didn’t Know You Need

Why Capes Are The New Wardrobe Addition You Didn’t Know You Need

Since ancient times, the cape has served as cover-up. Now, fashion designers are stating the obvious – you need a cape for FW20.
Cindy Bruna. Photographed by Jason Kim

As mesmerizing yet fictitious as the image of the hero donning a flowing cape might be, there’s a kernel of truth in the meaning behind why many have worn capes throughout history. The protective piece of fabric, sometimes accompanied by a hood, most commonly associated with kings, queens, magicians, wizards, and even She-Ra, offers a layer of protection to the body and the visage. Apart from serving as a fashion or even a religious statement, capes protected against harsh weather and also maintained one’s privacy when needed.
Queen Elizabeth II after her Coronation, 1953. Getty

In Roman times, one often finds a cloak or cape in the statues of military commanders, fastened at one shoulder. Capes were commonly worn in medieval Europe by the rich and poor alike, attached with a hood. Then in the 19th century, during the Victorian period, a combination of capes with a chaperon or hood became vogue in Europe. The cape also carries religious significance. Centuries ago, Muslims, Jews, and Christians, particularly in Arabia and in the Levant region, wore a cloak similar to what is referred to as the abaya today. While the history of the abaya, like the cloak, remains vague, historical evidence demonstrates how the robe-like garment was also worn in ancient Mesopotamia.
Rick Owens

The cape has made a comeback at different intervals throughout history and today, it is once again having a moment of glory. If there was one obvious trend on the FW20 runways, particularly in New York and Paris, the cape was it. Indeed, this season we’ll spend a lot of time taking advantage of the spacious forms that the cape element brings to fashion. Designers such as Rick Owens, who offered a long statement puffer cape in baby blue, and Givenchy’s Clare Waight Keller, whose seductive red pagoda shoulder cape slim-fit dresses drew inspiration from the stars of French cinema, played with capes, transforming them into everyday and evening attire in new ways. In Dior’s FW20 collection, a sculptural black ruffled cape signified once again that the cape trend was very much the zeitgeist.
Givenchy

Some of the Middle East’s biggest design names, particularly from Lebanon, are similarly maintaining the age-old fashion element with new additions. “A cape is an envelope that protects the body; a surprising element that can hide everything and reveal many things,” says Rabih Kayrouz.
Maison Rabih Kayrouz

For his Spring Couture collection, the designer offered a transparent mesh-like black robe. In previous collections, Kayrouz has often included long capes in a multitude of colors and cuts. “In the world of couture, the cape element will never be outdated or out of style,” states Lebanese couturier Rami Kadi. “What I love about capes is that they always add a touch of royalty, flawlessness, and elegance to the designs.” Kadi, who is known for his vibrant use of distinctive and psychedelic colors and unconventional cuts, often incorporates light capes into his collections. “We always use the cape to enhance some of our pieces, especially wedding gowns,” he adds. “While the origin of the cape is traditional, we love to modernize it in our collections and give it new life. Sometimes we make it long or short and plain, and other times we embroider it with delicate designs.”
Zuhair Murad

From ready-to- wear to haute couture, capes have also appeared in many of Georges Hobeika’s collections. “In our last couture collection, we presented caped skirt suits and printed capes, endowing them with a more modern and casual feel,” he states of his sartorial cape approach. Lebanese designer Zuhair Murad’s showstopping gowns, suits, and skirts have long been known for their showy, sequin-laden, and dazzling appeal. They are the epitome of contemporary majesty. To that end, the designer often incorporates capes. Some are merely fastened to a slim-fit outfit while others are attached to a flowy robe-like dress with long sleeves with a cut just above the hand so that you can ever so slightly see the fingers. An intimate elegance can be found here as well as remnants of the cape’s ancient and protective uses. “The purpose of inserting capes to a collection is to add a majestic allure,” says Murad. “A cape emphasizes the glamour of the piece.” Perhaps it is this princess-cum-hero quality of the cape that makes this fashion element timeless and especially attractive this season. She who dons the cape, can well and truly save herself.
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Originally published in the November 2020 issue of Vogue Arabia 

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