October 9, 2014
Mr. Owens, are you an easy person to live with?

It’s hard for somebody to live with me, I think. I’m very inflexible and that can’t be easy. There are times when I put up a wall and I say, “This is what I want and I’m not going to debate it or negotiate it,” and I know that that must be unpleasant. If I were living with me, I would get sick and tired of it always being about Rick Owens this, Rick Owens that.
So how does your wife Michele deal with that?

Michele has learned how to define her space, and that’s kind of great.She has a very strong personality and very strong opinions, so for me to push her on things… you can imagine the fireworks! What’s funny is that we’ll be in the middle of something heated, and we just look at each other and all of a sudden we recognize this whole thing we’re doing. We can kind of laugh, like, “We know where this is going” and we can figure it out in a different way. It’s great when we have those moments. But it’s delicate.
I was surprised to hear that you had been married to your wife for 20 years even though before that you mainly dated men. Usually it happens the opposite way around.

I don’t know… I’ve always been really open about this because it’s very easy for someone to say, “I used to see him in sex clubs in the ’80s and now he pretends he’s straight?” So the idea of pretending I’m straight is ridiculous. I need to get that out of the way. The other thing is that I love the idea that there are bad role models and good role models. Presumably, I would be a bad role model but I think for someone…
Why would you be a bad role model? I don’t think so.

I think my father does. Talk to my father! (Laughs) Anyway, I think the idea of me telling anybody a message is ridiculous, but if anyone is paying attention, I’m letting people know that the possibilities are endless. You can open your heart to love anybody. You can be available to more people than you think. There are no rules. You don’t have to be just gay. You don’t have to be just straight. Open your mind! You might not be able to be gay with most people, but maybe there’s one person where it would work. So, it’s not a big wide sweeping general rule… It’s not just about sex. It’s all of that whole combination of things that make it work.
What role does Michele play in your work?
She is part of the spirit. I think people assume that she is maybe the Pierre Berge – if we’re thinking in legendary Yves Saint Laurent terms – but I think maybe she’s more of the Catherine Deneuve character of that legend. She has great inspiration and great vision. It’s not like she’s in the office every day on the computer, she’s out in the world, researching, and bringing me things back. It’s almost like an ephemeral role. It can be so hard to define.
Like a muse?

Muses… That word is like a “fag hag.” I always introduce her as my better half because I think that’s such a great way of putting it. It’s like, I don’t really know where one of us ends and the other begins. It’s more profound than a business partner. We would be having a beautifully aesthetic life whether this was successful or not, it’s just that we’ve made it public and sold it and so people recognize it. But it would have been great anyway. She’s a great person to be poor with because we’ve been poor together! We could live in a car together and it would be really fun. But Michele doesn’t see a collection until that day.
Why not?

If Michele’s looked at something and frowned, if she didn’t respond the way I wanted, it would totally fuck me up. I can’t! I can’t engage her. For better or for worse: I have to decide. You want to engage somebody that you’re so intimate with, but you have to keep them at a distance at the same time. It’s an odd little balance. There are probably some relationships that thrive on discussion and a lot more collaboration, and I wish I could, but I’ve learned that no matter how much I want to, I can’t. It’s like… I can’t learn French. You just can’t force yourself. For everybody’s benefit I better just do my job quietly in a little corner like I do.

I guess everybody has to figure out their own balance. There’s not really a formula for these kinds of things.
Relationships are compromises. She gravitated towards the fur when we first moved to Paris and then when we started doing the furniture, coordinating the artisans to do the furniture, and she turned that into this big thing. Between the fur and furniture, getting all that stuff done, it’s this whole world that I never would have done on my own. In this house, I have a bathroom that is perfect, that is a refuge. I have a marble toilet, I have this whole area that is perfect the way that I want it. I have my office the way I want it; everything is resolved. Everything else, I don’t care. Everything else is fine by me. It’s a tremendous release. I can’t control everything.
But with your design process, you can control everything. What does that look like?

I just work from images of things on a mannequin and I’m looking at proportions and then I print them out and cut them up and re-proportion them and add lines. The initial design process is that.
You don’t sketch?
Sketches are pretty, but they’re too unrealistic. I don’t think I ever really sketched. It isn’t my thing. One of the reasons is because there’s just something too cliché about fashion sketching. I went to art school to be a painter, so I have this standard image that I think is the standard of art and I think a fashion sketch would be too superficial. And cheap. It just seems corny. It’s not a necessary step. It’s just like this fantasy. It’s like collages. I have this thing against making collages of inspirations and stuff.
Why?

Just get to the point! It’s just an unnecessary step that is not really true. It’s just superficial, it’s not technical. It’s just kind of masturbation. It’s just jacking off. Get a step closer to actually realizing it instead of having some kind of fantasy about it. Just do it instead of talking about it so much. I look at my own work and what seems to be the most true expression and I think, “How do I go a step beyond that?” I guess that’s my process. But… All of these things that I say about process, you know I’m a fraud, right? I don’t know what the fuck I’m doing! I can tell you all these things about how I do it, but I just don’t know.
You know what you want and you follow that. A lot of people don’t have that confidence.
I really learned not to think about what other people like. The other thing I’ve learned recently is not to look at sales reports. I used to, but if I had listened to sales reports at the beginning, I would have given up on things that are some of our biggest successes now, like shoes. So sales reports are not the answer. The other thing is I really don’t have to do anything I don’t want to. And I have to remind myself of this sometimes. This isn’t a job, it’s not like I’m going to lose my job if I don’t get the results I want.
I guess you’re over that hump by now.

There’s no boss to answer to!
I’m sure you have been approached by big conglomerates to be part of their company…

Yeah, but I never had that much to lose, so it was never a risk to stay on my own. There were opportunities where I thought, you know, “If I do this, I could retire tomorrow.” But I don’t want to retire! It’s tempting, you know. You’re offered a lot of money and you’re thinking, “Maybe I’m never going to get offered this much again.” It’s hard. “Am I going to regret this later?” But being offered that amount of money is a surprise, I never expected it, so if I don’t take it now, it’s not going to change my life either. Any time anybody wants 51% of your company…
They have a reason for it.

Exactly, there’s a reason for that one percent. The whole game of 51%, it’s so ominous. That one percent. I’d rather they ask for 80% and give me more money! (Laughs) But I have fantastic partners. I have a CEO and a Sales Director who are so protective, who have even more integrity than I do. I’m a whore! Buyers have come to me and I’ve said, “Okay, that sounds great!” And then my CEO and my Sales Director call me down and say, “You know, if you do this, it’ll burn us out too fast. You should think about that.” They’re not afraid of sticking to our guns and having a very refined, confident approach. I’m incredibly lucky because that’s what it takes.
You need people that protect you.

Not only protect, but develop. It’s impossible to do this kind of thing alone. There’s a lot of people that could be designers, a lot of people have great ideas, but it’s the execution. It’s easy to have inspiration and have a vision and an aesthetic, but if you don’t have the execution and you don’t get it out there properly and on time, it doesn’t matter. It’ll sink. I really don’t overestimate my role in this. Getting it out there, and on time, that’s key. I’m very lucky about that. And I get to take all the credit.The-Talks

Mr. Owens, are you an easy person to live with?

It’s hard for somebody to live with me, I think. I’m very inflexible and that can’t be easy. There are times when I put up a wall and I say, “This is what I want and I’m not going to debate it or negotiate it,” and I know that that must be unpleasant. If I were living with me, I would get sick and tired of it always being about Rick Owens this, Rick Owens that.

So how does your wife Michele deal with that?

Michele has learned how to define her space, and that’s kind of great.She has a very strong personality and very strong opinions, so for me to push her on things… you can imagine the fireworks! What’s funny is that we’ll be in the middle of something heated, and we just look at each other and all of a sudden we recognize this whole thing we’re doing. We can kind of laugh, like, “We know where this is going” and we can figure it out in a different way. It’s great when we have those moments. But it’s delicate.

I was surprised to hear that you had been married to your wife for 20 years even though before that you mainly dated men. Usually it happens the opposite way around.

I don’t know… I’ve always been really open about this because it’s very easy for someone to say, “I used to see him in sex clubs in the ’80s and now he pretends he’s straight?” So the idea of pretending I’m straight is ridiculous. I need to get that out of the way. The other thing is that I love the idea that there are bad role models and good role models. Presumably, I would be a bad role model but I think for someone…

Why would you be a bad role model? I don’t think so.

I think my father does. Talk to my father! (Laughs) Anyway, I think the idea of me telling anybody a message is ridiculous, but if anyone is paying attention, I’m letting people know that the possibilities are endless. You can open your heart to love anybody. You can be available to more people than you think. There are no rules. You don’t have to be just gay. You don’t have to be just straight. Open your mind! You might not be able to be gay with most people, but maybe there’s one person where it would work. So, it’s not a big wide sweeping general rule… It’s not just about sex. It’s all of that whole combination of things that make it work.

What role does Michele play in your work?

She is part of the spirit. I think people assume that she is maybe the Pierre Berge – if we’re thinking in legendary Yves Saint Laurent terms – but I think maybe she’s more of the Catherine Deneuve character of that legend. She has great inspiration and great vision. It’s not like she’s in the office every day on the computer, she’s out in the world, researching, and bringing me things back. It’s almost like an ephemeral role. It can be so hard to define.

Like a muse?

Muses… That word is like a “fag hag.” I always introduce her as my better half because I think that’s such a great way of putting it. It’s like, I don’t really know where one of us ends and the other begins. It’s more profound than a business partner. We would be having a beautifully aesthetic life whether this was successful or not, it’s just that we’ve made it public and sold it and so people recognize it. But it would have been great anyway. She’s a great person to be poor with because we’ve been poor together! We could live in a car together and it would be really fun. But Michele doesn’t see a collection until that day.

Why not?

If Michele’s looked at something and frowned, if she didn’t respond the way I wanted, it would totally fuck me up. I can’t! I can’t engage her. For better or for worse: I have to decide. You want to engage somebody that you’re so intimate with, but you have to keep them at a distance at the same time. It’s an odd little balance. There are probably some relationships that thrive on discussion and a lot more collaboration, and I wish I could, but I’ve learned that no matter how much I want to, I can’t. It’s like… I can’t learn French. You just can’t force yourself. For everybody’s benefit I better just do my job quietly in a little corner like I do.

I guess everybody has to figure out their own balance. There’s not really a formula for these kinds of things.

Relationships are compromises. She gravitated towards the fur when we first moved to Paris and then when we started doing the furniture, coordinating the artisans to do the furniture, and she turned that into this big thing. Between the fur and furniture, getting all that stuff done, it’s this whole world that I never would have done on my own. In this house, I have a bathroom that is perfect, that is a refuge. I have a marble toilet, I have this whole area that is perfect the way that I want it. I have my office the way I want it; everything is resolved. Everything else, I don’t care. Everything else is fine by me. It’s a tremendous release. I can’t control everything.

But with your design process, you can control everything. What does that look like?

I just work from images of things on a mannequin and I’m looking at proportions and then I print them out and cut them up and re-proportion them and add lines. The initial design process is that.

You don’t sketch?

Sketches are pretty, but they’re too unrealistic. I don’t think I ever really sketched. It isn’t my thing. One of the reasons is because there’s just something too cliché about fashion sketching. I went to art school to be a painter, so I have this standard image that I think is the standard of art and I think a fashion sketch would be too superficial. And cheap. It just seems corny. It’s not a necessary step. It’s just like this fantasy. It’s like collages. I have this thing against making collages of inspirations and stuff.

Why?

Just get to the point! It’s just an unnecessary step that is not really true. It’s just superficial, it’s not technical. It’s just kind of masturbation. It’s just jacking off. Get a step closer to actually realizing it instead of having some kind of fantasy about it. Just do it instead of talking about it so much. I look at my own work and what seems to be the most true expression and I think, “How do I go a step beyond that?” I guess that’s my process. But… All of these things that I say about process, you know I’m a fraud, right? I don’t know what the fuck I’m doing! I can tell you all these things about how I do it, but I just don’t know.

You know what you want and you follow that. A lot of people don’t have that confidence.

I really learned not to think about what other people like. The other thing I’ve learned recently is not to look at sales reports. I used to, but if I had listened to sales reports at the beginning, I would have given up on things that are some of our biggest successes now, like shoes. So sales reports are not the answer. The other thing is I really don’t have to do anything I don’t want to. And I have to remind myself of this sometimes. This isn’t a job, it’s not like I’m going to lose my job if I don’t get the results I want.

I guess you’re over that hump by now.

There’s no boss to answer to!

I’m sure you have been approached by big conglomerates to be part of their company…

Yeah, but I never had that much to lose, so it was never a risk to stay on my own. There were opportunities where I thought, you know, “If I do this, I could retire tomorrow.” But I don’t want to retire! It’s tempting, you know. You’re offered a lot of money and you’re thinking, “Maybe I’m never going to get offered this much again.” It’s hard. “Am I going to regret this later?” But being offered that amount of money is a surprise, I never expected it, so if I don’t take it now, it’s not going to change my life either. Any time anybody wants 51% of your company…

They have a reason for it.

Exactly, there’s a reason for that one percent. The whole game of 51%, it’s so ominous. That one percent. I’d rather they ask for 80% and give me more money! (Laughs) But I have fantastic partners. I have a CEO and a Sales Director who are so protective, who have even more integrity than I do. I’m a whore! Buyers have come to me and I’ve said, “Okay, that sounds great!” And then my CEO and my Sales Director call me down and say, “You know, if you do this, it’ll burn us out too fast. You should think about that.” They’re not afraid of sticking to our guns and having a very refined, confident approach. I’m incredibly lucky because that’s what it takes.

You need people that protect you.

Not only protect, but develop. It’s impossible to do this kind of thing alone. There’s a lot of people that could be designers, a lot of people have great ideas, but it’s the execution. It’s easy to have inspiration and have a vision and an aesthetic, but if you don’t have the execution and you don’t get it out there properly and on time, it doesn’t matter. It’ll sink. I really don’t overestimate my role in this. Getting it out there, and on time, that’s key. I’m very lucky about that. And I get to take all the credit.

The-Talks

September 30, 2014

Yohji Yamamoto Women’s Spring Summer 2015

"I challenge what is sexy for me" Yohji Yamamoto (Post show ss15) 

This is certainly the most exposed, sensual Yohji collection I can recall in recent seasons. I was shocked to see so much skin on the runway in a Yamamoto show as previously he has discussed his ideal of women’s sensuality and it certainly did not conjure images like this. The quote above does well to describe Yohji’s mindset going in to this season though. Challenging himself and his audience with something striking and new. The body exposed, the mind protected. 

September 26, 2014

Rick Owens Women’s Spring Summer 2015 Faun


Interview via Another

Do you have a mentor or inspirational figure that has guided or influenced you?

Legion.

Where do you feel most at home?

At the beach — any beach.

Where are you right now?

My office in Paris prepping my spring show.

What is your proudest achievement in work?

Survival.

What is your proudest achievement in life?

Self-invention.

What do you most dislike about contemporary culture?

Casual hostility.

What do you most like about the age we live in?

The internet.

At what points do life and work intersect?

Everybody has a different way, but for me they are pretty much the same. If I hadn’t found something to do, I would have been a crack whore.

What’s the best advice you’ve been given?

Get over yourself.

What is the biggest risk you’ve ever taken?

Trusting myself.

Recommend a book or poem that has changed your perspective on life?

Reading The Death of Tintagiles by Maeterlinck when I was a child might have inspired a melancholy minimalism that I have used.

What is your earliest childhood memory?

A neighbour showing me a handmade box covered in rhinestones. I must have been about three.

What’s the most important relationship in your life?

My better half, Hun.

What’s the most romantic action you’ve taken?

Getting married.

What’s the most spiritual action you’ve taken?

Going to the gym.

If you could wish for one change in the world what would it be?

I don’t profess to know better — it is all an evolutionary miracle that seems to balance out despite collapse and glory.

September 24, 2014
Yohji Yamamoto is a man who needs little by way of introduction. He is a singular figure within the fashion landscape—known as much for his enigmatic charm as his unfailingly avant-garde collections. He first debuted in Paris in 1981—that would be 33 years ago—and he will return to the City of Lights later this month (September 26th) to unveil his most recent. If history repeats itself, which it has been known to do, it will be a scintillating show.
In honor of the upcoming event, we checked in with the famously private designer to hear his thoughts on the past, present, and future of his namesake collections.

What has stayed most constant throughout your work?Obviously, people have noticed that I am fond of using black. Black is the end of color. Wearing black is like saying, ‘I will not bother you, and please do not bother me.’ And sometimes, when I am making clothes, I concentrate too much on the patterns and fabrics that I forget to use colors.
Of all your collections, is there one that you remember as being the most fun to design?The most fun collection to design is the one I am doing now: Yohji Yamamoto FEMME 2015 Spring/Summer. I do not want to look back. If you look back, you cannot make progress. My best show will always be the next one. When a pattern-maker comes up with something beyond my imagination, I am surprised and feel excited. For the coming season, pattern-makers have kept surprising me.
How do you continue to be inspired, to push yourself and your craft over so many years?Cigarettes. Just kidding. At first, I studied hard and copied the creations of many great designers, such as Coco Chanel and Madeleine Vionnet. I copied over and over. One day, I just realized that people began calling me “master.”  In my atelier, there are so many hard-working people. I need to be responsible because they are there, so I have pushed myself very hard over years. By reading books, experiencing different cultures, and learning from people around me, I get inspiration. Recently, I get inspiration when I am driving a car. Actually, if you continue doing one thing passionately, maybe at least five years, you will know.
How does Regulation complement your other collections?Regulation is very special because the brand concept is about uniform and military, which is not a common element in other collections. And it is unisex since many pieces can be worn by both men and women. Although Yohji Yamamoto is famous for oversized design, the size of Regulation, especially the men’s collection, is based on my size, which is a typical Asian size—smaller than European ones.
What were you most inspired by for Fall 2014? What about Spring 2015?You may already know that I worked with a very young artist called Yasuto Sasada for Fall 2014—on both the men’s and women’s collection. The common theme is ‘Fashion is Always Art.’  I asked Mr. Sasada to paint something sweet but dark at the same time. I like the contrast of being sweet and evil. If someone has both of these qualities, I will be very interested. The Yohji Yamamoto HOMME 2014 Fall/Winter fashion show was the very first time to present all prints on the runway. I felt excited to use those artist prints. And for the Spring/Summer 2015, I am inspired by the idea of ‘Culture Mix.’ I wanted to show interesting aspects of a cultural mix, creating a free world without government or authorities. By using exotic and ethnic prints and fabrics, as well as motifs from Asian and Middle Eastern countries, I wanted to combine different cultural lifestyles to create borderless yet elegant looks. For the 2015 Spring/Summer women’s collection, it is a secret.
Do you feel that you have accomplished what you set out to do when you started?Never.
What is the first thing you do when you wake up in the morning? And the last thing you do before you go to bed at night?Saying good morning and good night to my dog Rin. She is an Akita dog and only two years old. Every day, I go walking with her for about one hour, no matter if it is raining or snowing. Rin brings me good luck. Since she started to live with me, many good things happened to me. Also, she inspires me lot. You may have seen her face on Yohji Yamamoto scarves and clothes. Now she has become more famous than I am!
What’s next?Let’s wait and see. You will know everything if you see Yohji Yamamoto FEMME 2015 Spring/Summer fashion show in Paris on September 26th.

Yohji Yamamoto is a man who needs little by way of introduction. He is a singular figure within the fashion landscape—known as much for his enigmatic charm as his unfailingly avant-garde collections. He first debuted in Paris in 1981—that would be 33 years ago—and he will return to the City of Lights later this month (September 26th) to unveil his most recent. If history repeats itself, which it has been known to do, it will be a scintillating show.

In honor of the upcoming event, we checked in with the famously private designer to hear his thoughts on the past, present, and future of his namesake collections.

window-window

What has stayed most constant throughout your work?
Obviously, people have noticed that I am fond of using black. Black is the end of color. Wearing black is like saying, ‘I will not bother you, and please do not bother me.’ And sometimes, when I am making clothes, I concentrate too much on the patterns and fabrics that I forget to use colors.

Of all your collections, is there one that you remember as being the most fun to design?
The most fun collection to design is the one I am doing now: Yohji Yamamoto FEMME 2015 Spring/Summer. I do not want to look back. If you look back, you cannot make progress. My best show will always be the next one. When a pattern-maker comes up with something beyond my imagination, I am surprised and feel excited. For the coming season, pattern-makers have kept surprising me.

How do you continue to be inspired, to push yourself and your craft over so many years?
Cigarettes. Just kidding. At first, I studied hard and copied the creations of many great designers, such as Coco Chanel and Madeleine Vionnet. I copied over and over. One day, I just realized that people began calling me “master.”  In my atelier, there are so many hard-working people. I need to be responsible because they are there, so I have pushed myself very hard over years. By reading books, experiencing different cultures, and learning from people around me, I get inspiration. Recently, I get inspiration when I am driving a car. Actually, if you continue doing one thing passionately, maybe at least five years, you will know.

How does Regulation complement your other collections?
Regulation is very special because the brand concept is about uniform and military, which is not a common element in other collections. And it is unisex since many pieces can be worn by both men and women. Although Yohji Yamamoto is famous for oversized design, the size of Regulation, especially the men’s collection, is based on my size, which is a typical Asian size—smaller than European ones.

What were you most inspired by for Fall 2014? What about Spring 2015?
You may already know that I worked with a very young artist called Yasuto Sasada for Fall 2014—on both the men’s and women’s collection. The common theme is ‘Fashion is Always Art.’  I asked Mr. Sasada to paint something sweet but dark at the same time. I like the contrast of being sweet and evil. If someone has both of these qualities, I will be very interested. The Yohji Yamamoto HOMME 2014 Fall/Winter fashion show was the very first time to present all prints on the runway. I felt excited to use those artist prints. And for the Spring/Summer 2015, I am inspired by the idea of ‘Culture Mix.’ I wanted to show interesting aspects of a cultural mix, creating a free world without government or authorities. By using exotic and ethnic prints and fabrics, as well as motifs from Asian and Middle Eastern countries, I wanted to combine different cultural lifestyles to create borderless yet elegant looks. For the 2015 Spring/Summer women’s collection, it is a secret.

Do you feel that you have accomplished what you set out to do when you started?
Never.

What is the first thing you do when you wake up in the morning? And the last thing you do before you go to bed at night?
Saying good morning and good night to my dog Rin. She is an Akita dog and only two years old. Every day, I go walking with her for about one hour, no matter if it is raining or snowing. Rin brings me good luck. Since she started to live with me, many good things happened to me. Also, she inspires me lot. You may have seen her face on Yohji Yamamoto scarves and clothes. Now she has become more famous than I am!

What’s next?
Let’s wait and see. You will know everything if you see Yohji Yamamoto FEMME 2015 Spring/Summer fashion show in Paris on September 26th.

September 23, 2014
Rick Owens: Secure in His Own World
Video on NyTimes
Q. How long have you been in this building?

A. Twelve years now. When we first moved in, it had drop acoustical tile ceilings with fluorescent lights and carpeting and wallpaper, and we ripped it all out. We did it right before a show period, so we hadn’t had time to seal anything, like the concrete or the walls or anything, so the bottom floors were filthy and everybody, all of the buyers, knew who had been to the Rick Owens showroom in Paris because they would be walking in the streets covered head to foot in dust. Nobody really complained. I think they were delighted a little bit because it was such an extreme experience and they probably felt like they had an adventure. As well as some asbestos poisoning or something.

Q. Was it weird to move from Hollywood Boulevard, where you started your career, to the Seventh Arrondissement in Paris? You are right behind the Assemblée Nationale.

When we first moved to Paris, we lived in the Marais, and there’s just too many parties with all of those kids running around. Here, it’s just embassies and old families. Everybody in this building has some kind of aristocratic name, and I am this nouveau riche American that’s ruining the neighborhood. One of my favorite things is going to sleep at night, and we can hear the footsteps on the gravel of the guards patrolling the garden. It’s just the most delicious sense of security.

Q. Why did you decide to come to Paris?

I was manufacturing in Italy, and going back and forth between Italy and Los Angeles just didn’t make sense, and since I’d started showing in Paris, it made sense to move everything here. It doesn’t really make a difference. There were times that I kind of forget I am not still in Los Angeles, because I kind of create the same triangle here: the couple of restaurants I eat at, my house and office, and the gym. It’s just that now I walk through the Jardin des Tuileries to get to the gym, which is very different than Hollywood Boulevard.

Q. Has the office changed a lot since you’ve been here?

This room just recently changed. It used to be very destroyed, and the ceiling was kind of falling apart. It was a little bombed-out looking. It’s only very recently that I plastered it all up and made it all extra shiny white. As I get older, I need more organization. It’s not because of the pace of fashion or anything, because to tell you the truth, I’m so addicted I don’t think I would want it any slower. I’m fine with it being fast. I’m fine with the deadlines and stuff. It gives me a silly little sense of purpose.

Q. Did you make the chair and the desk?

Yeah. When we first moved in here, we needed a lot of stuff, and that would have been a fortune. So I just faked it with what we had in hand. The chair is just a box with pillows. I like reducing everything that I do to a rock and a fire and a fur in a cave. So I’m thinking, What are the essentials? We need a couple of benches, we need a bed. What else? Light switches. Light switches should be great because you have to touch them every day.

Q. So you keep most of the materials on your desk, or do you sketch?

I don’t sketch. I mainly do it with draping. What I do every season is order toiles of past styles that we’ve done. Then I manipulate them here and take photos and sketch over them, or I do a line, or paste them up together, and then they send me another toile and I manipulate that, and that’s how we work here. Right now I’m trying to figure out how to make tulle look like concrete. Fashion is just a fresh combination of elements that we all connect with.

Q. There’s very little other than tulle on your desk.

There are some crystals. I just like how they seem kind of spiritual even though I’m not at all. Kind of spiritual and prehistoric. I like to think about the grandest scale possible. When I see things that are a little too traditional or things that I can define too easily, it makes me react and want to do something that is more a summary of our experiences instead of just one facet.

Q. Do you like working where you live?

I do. I have this incredible advantage of being independent and this being kind of my personal indulgence. I really do stay in my own world. There have been times when we were growing where I did feel a sense of responsibility, and I started to think about what do people want, what are people responding to, what should I do next? And I learned that that was a mistake. I learned that listening didn’t work for me. I couldn’t interpret well enough. I hadn’t developed the social skills to filter what was valuable and what was distraction. So finally I learned that I really had to be completely selfish and just think about what amused me, what I enjoy. Because people seem to respond to the things that I connect to the most.

Rick Owens: Secure in His Own World

Video on NyTimes

Q. How long have you been in this building?

A. Twelve years now. When we first moved in, it had drop acoustical tile ceilings with fluorescent lights and carpeting and wallpaper, and we ripped it all out. We did it right before a show period, so we hadn’t had time to seal anything, like the concrete or the walls or anything, so the bottom floors were filthy and everybody, all of the buyers, knew who had been to the Rick Owens showroom in Paris because they would be walking in the streets covered head to foot in dust. Nobody really complained. I think they were delighted a little bit because it was such an extreme experience and they probably felt like they had an adventure. As well as some asbestos poisoning or something.

Q. Was it weird to move from Hollywood Boulevard, where you started your career, to the Seventh Arrondissement in Paris? You are right behind the Assemblée Nationale.

When we first moved to Paris, we lived in the Marais, and there’s just too many parties with all of those kids running around. Here, it’s just embassies and old families. Everybody in this building has some kind of aristocratic name, and I am this nouveau riche American that’s ruining the neighborhood. One of my favorite things is going to sleep at night, and we can hear the footsteps on the gravel of the guards patrolling the garden. It’s just the most delicious sense of security.

Q. Why did you decide to come to Paris?

I was manufacturing in Italy, and going back and forth between Italy and Los Angeles just didn’t make sense, and since I’d started showing in Paris, it made sense to move everything here. It doesn’t really make a difference. There were times that I kind of forget I am not still in Los Angeles, because I kind of create the same triangle here: the couple of restaurants I eat at, my house and office, and the gym. It’s just that now I walk through the Jardin des Tuileries to get to the gym, which is very different than Hollywood Boulevard.

Q. Has the office changed a lot since you’ve been here?

This room just recently changed. It used to be very destroyed, and the ceiling was kind of falling apart. It was a little bombed-out looking. It’s only very recently that I plastered it all up and made it all extra shiny white. As I get older, I need more organization. It’s not because of the pace of fashion or anything, because to tell you the truth, I’m so addicted I don’t think I would want it any slower. I’m fine with it being fast. I’m fine with the deadlines and stuff. It gives me a silly little sense of purpose.

Q. Did you make the chair and the desk?

Yeah. When we first moved in here, we needed a lot of stuff, and that would have been a fortune. So I just faked it with what we had in hand. The chair is just a box with pillows. I like reducing everything that I do to a rock and a fire and a fur in a cave. So I’m thinking, What are the essentials? We need a couple of benches, we need a bed. What else? Light switches. Light switches should be great because you have to touch them every day.

Q. So you keep most of the materials on your desk, or do you sketch?

I don’t sketch. I mainly do it with draping. What I do every season is order toiles of past styles that we’ve done. Then I manipulate them here and take photos and sketch over them, or I do a line, or paste them up together, and then they send me another toile and I manipulate that, and that’s how we work here. Right now I’m trying to figure out how to make tulle look like concrete. Fashion is just a fresh combination of elements that we all connect with.

Q. There’s very little other than tulle on your desk.

There are some crystals. I just like how they seem kind of spiritual even though I’m not at all. Kind of spiritual and prehistoric. I like to think about the grandest scale possible. When I see things that are a little too traditional or things that I can define too easily, it makes me react and want to do something that is more a summary of our experiences instead of just one facet.

Q. Do you like working where you live?

I do. I have this incredible advantage of being independent and this being kind of my personal indulgence. I really do stay in my own world. There have been times when we were growing where I did feel a sense of responsibility, and I started to think about what do people want, what are people responding to, what should I do next? And I learned that that was a mistake. I learned that listening didn’t work for me. I couldn’t interpret well enough. I hadn’t developed the social skills to filter what was valuable and what was distraction. So finally I learned that I really had to be completely selfish and just think about what amused me, what I enjoy. Because people seem to respond to the things that I connect to the most.

September 18, 2014

The World of Rick Owens’ Sculpture Selfridges London

September 11, 2014

Yohji Yamamoto

URBAN NOMADS is an installation built around a collection of products for both retail and living environments; it is a selection of Neeland’s timeless, purely designed objects that address

the anti-throwaway, anti-fashionable products that have evolved due to our increasingly transient lifestyles.

URBAN NOMADS is an installation built around a collection of products for both retail and living environments; it is a selection of Neeland’s timeless, purely designed objects that address

the anti-throwaway, anti-fashionable products that have evolved due to our increasingly transient lifestyles.

September 9, 2014

Comme des Garcons

September 8, 2014

Boris Bidjan Saberi Flagship Store New York Opening Party 

Photos @ Stylezeitgeist via An Unknown Quantity 

September 4, 2014
Yohji Yamamoto x Selfridges London - The Master of Defiance Window Display 
"Drawing on the designer’s love for the avant-garde, Yohji Yamamoto’s window is inspired by the haunting and eery mixture of science fiction and film noir seen in Bladerunner."

Yohji Yamamoto x Selfridges London - The Master of Defiance Window Display 

"Drawing on the designer’s love for the avant-garde, Yohji Yamamoto’s window is inspired by the haunting and eery mixture of science fiction and film noir seen in Bladerunner."