RICK OWENS & MICHELE LAMY
PARIS, France — Rick Owens is a brand apart and it may not be too much to say that the designer and his wife and collaborator, Michèle Lamy, similarly exist in an alternate reality, a world of their own making — adjacent to ours, maybe, beholden to the same laws of physics and economic realities, but different, unique. Everything in Owens’ and Lamy’s life, as in their business (as if one can so easily differentiate between the two), is done in vigilant observation of Owens’ dictate, “We build, we don’t buy.” And, together, the two have conspired to build a world entirely of their own design, furnishing it solely with the fruits of their imaginings.
Working on her menswear collection, the two became romantically involved. And by the time of Owens’ breakthrough Vogue-funded show at New York Fashion Week in 2002, they were living together in bohemian splendour in a row of storefronts in Hollywood, and Owens was selling his own line exclusively to Charles Galley, proprietor of an avant-garde boutique on Sunset Plaza. Later that year, Owens won the CFDA’s award for emerging talent and was approached by the centuries-old furrier Révillon, who hired him as creative director and brought him to France. In 2004, Owens entered into a partnership with his manufacturers in San Giacomo — “the Italians,” as he calls them — and began selling to Tommy Perse at Maxfield in Los Angeles, Maria Luisa in Paris, Joyce Ma in Hong Kong and Joan Burstein’s Browns in London.