Rick Owens Likes His Runway Shows ‘Big and Dumb’

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Photo: Stephane Cardinale/People Avenue/Corbis

Rick Owens knows his runway shows are performance pieces in themselves. Today,  the designer tells The Independent, “If I try and sustain this kind of thing, it will start getting a little desperate and I don’t want to be a ring-master designer. I like trying to make something as simply monumental, eternal and primal as I can. Big and dumb, that’s kind of my motto.” Owens adds, “I love the idea of working with almost nothing. Light, air, smoke. Like a cheap magic act.”

Unlike many designers of his stature, Owens has held out against being acquired by a luxury conglomerate, maintaining the Dunder Mifflin–sounding Owenscorp for 20 years. Being independent has its perks. “I don’t have to do anything I don’t want to,” the designer says. And he can do charmingly wackadoo things like erect a 25-foot statue of himself in London. “It’s not like I’m obligated to make any compromises, which is a wonderful thing. I probably sound a little gloaty to say that, or a little boastful, but it’s significant. I could just burn the whole fucking place down.” That statement will have us scanning the fire exits at the next Owens show for sure.

Rick Owens Likes His Runway Shows ‘Big and Dumb’