MARCH 2002

NEXT MAGAZINE

FOR MANY OF US, IT'S BEEN A LONG WAIT FOR HONG KONG'S FIRST RICK OWENS STORE. COULD YOU SHARE WITH US THE CONCEPT BEHIND ITS DESIGN AND DÉCOR? 

I HAVE ALWAYS HAD A LEATHER BAR DESIGNED BY EILEEN GREY IN THE BACK OF MY MIND WHEN WE DO THE STORES. LOTS OF SURFACES IN BLACK PLYWOOD AND CONCRETE THAT HAVE THE PRIMITIVE QUALITY OF A CAVE FILLED WITH ROCKS. I WANT THERE TO BE A BRUTALIST RAWNESS THAT CONTRASTS WITH THE ELEGANCE I'M HOPING TO REACH WITH THE CLOTHES. 

PLEASE ALLOW ME TO SAY HOW DELIGHTED I AM TO HAVE A LITTLE CORNER IN CHINA. I AM HONORED TO FEEL WELCOMED HERE. 

YOUR SPRING 2011 COLLECTION WAS SHOWN A FEW WEEKS AGO. THE TRANSFORMATION OF THE DATED SNOW WHITE IMAGE INTO AN EXTRA-TERRESTRIAL PRINCESS FROM THE FUTURE WITH ELEGANT, ETHEREAL DESIGNS IS AMONG YOUR BEST COLLECTIONS. WHAT CAN YOU TELL US ABOUT THE COUTURE-ESQUE SILHOUETTES AND THE NEO-FEMININE STYLE? 

I WAS LOOKING FOR AN AUSTERE OPULENCE. THE GLAMOUR OF VOLUME OF METERS AND METERS OF FABRIC THAT WERE SUCH A WONDERFUL GESTURE WITH CHRISTIAN DIOR'S NEW LOOK AFTER THE AUSTERITY OF A WAR. I WAS ALSO THINKING OF THE NAKED BODY FLOATING INSIDE A FRESH COCOON.
HONESTLY, I DIDN'T FEEL IT WAS A DEPARTURE, BUT AN EVOLUTION OF FORM AND SILHOUETTE THAT I'VE BEEN DOING ALL THE TIME. 

YOUR FURNITURE COLLECTION WAS LAUNCHED EARLIER THIS YEAR. WHAT ARE SOME OF YOUR LATEST CREATIONS FOR THE HOME? WILL THESE BE AVAILABLE IN THE HONG KONG STORE? 

I LOVE VESSELS. I'M CURRENTLY WORKING ON BRONZE VASES, BOWL, URNS, FROM SOMETHING SMALL THAT ONLY HOLDS ONE FLOWER, TO SOMETHING LARGE TO HOLD A SMALL TREE. OR EVEN BETTER, TO SIT ON A PLINTH HOLDING NOTHING AT ALL. THESE AND CHAIRS AND STOOLS WILL CIRCULATE THROUGH ALL OF THE STORES AS WILL MY FAVORITE MOVIES AND BOOKS. 

RICK OWENS SNEAKERS, LEATHER BOOTS WITH GEOMETRICAL OUTLINES, BIKER JACKETS, AND THE LILIES AND DRKSHDW COLLECTIONS HAVE BECOME SOUGHT-AFTER ITEMS AMONG THE YOUNG. HOW DO YOU FEEL ABOUT NEW DESIGNERS FOLLOWING YOUR LEAD? 

I DON'T THINK AN AESTHETIC CAN BE OWNED. ONCE IT'S BEEN RELEASED, IT'S IN THE AIR FOR EVERYONE. 

RICK OWENS LOVES LEATHER. TRUE? 

TRUE. I LOVE THE RAWNESS, THE PRIMAL CONNECTION AND THE HINT OF TRANSGRESSION IN LEATHER. AND I LOVE TURNING ALL OF THAT INTO SOMETHING SOFT AND GRACEFUL. 

YOU HAVE ALWAYS BEEN SUPPORTIVE OF GARETH PUGH. WHAT WOULD BE YOUR ADVICE FOR HIM, IN FACE OF THE RUMORS OF PUGH WITH BIG NAMES SUCH AS DIOR HOMME? 

I'VE ALWAYS LET GARETH KNOW THAT I THINK HE'S WONDERFUL AND SHOULD JUST CONCENTRATE ON SINGING HIS OWN SONG. BUT MAYBE HE'S MORE OPEN TO OTHER IDEAS THAN I WOULD BE. 

WHICH IS YOUR PREFERRED PERSONALITY TYPE, RALPH LAUREN OR REI KAWAKUBO? 

I'M PRETTY SURE YOU KNOW THE ANSWER TO THAT. 

WHERE WOULD YOU PREFER TO LIVE: L.A. OR PARIS? 

I HAVE LOVED LIVING IN BOTH. SOMEDAY I WILL LOVE LIVING SOMEWHERE ELSE. PERHAPS CHINA. IT'S LOVELY NOT HAVING TO CHOOSE. 

HOW DID YOU MEET MICHELE LAMY? 

I WORKED AS A PATTERN MAKER IN HER CLOTHING COMPANY FOR 2 YEARS BEFORE I COULD UNDERSTAND HER ACCENT. THEN WHEN I DID, WE BOTH LEFT WHO WE WERE WITH AND HAVE BEEN TOGETHER FOR OVER 20 YEARS. I CAN'T IMAGINE BEING WITH ANYONE ELSE. 

WHAT, IF ANY, WOULD YOU DESCRIBE AS YOUR OBSESSION? 

IT USED TO BE COLLAPSE. NOW IT'S DISCIPLINE. 

HOW OFTEN DO YOU GO TO THE GYM? 

FIVE TO SIX TIMES A WEEK. IT'S MY MEDITATION, RELEASE AND DISCO BREAK OF THE DAY. 

WHAT MUSIC ARE YOU LISTENING TO AT THIS MOMENT? 

HARD TON, CRAZY BITCH IN A CAVE, MONTSERRAT CABALLE, TRANCE GENERATORS, DOROTHY SQUIRES. 

COULD YOU NAME A FEW OF YOUR WARDROBE STAPLES/NEW ADDITIONS RIGHT NOW? 

BLACK T-SHIRTS, BLACK SKIRT-SWEATPANTS AND A SABLE COAT.