Born in California in 1961, Rick Owens studied fine arts for two years at Otis College of Art and Design in Los Angeles until 1981. He took classes in pattern-making and draping at Los Angeles Trade-Technical College, before working in the city’s knock-off garment industry. In 1988, he was hired as a pattern-cutter at a sportswear company owned by Michèle Lamy, who later became his wife.
Owens launched his now highly successful fashion label in 1994, championing an edgy style often described as “glunge” (grunge and glamour). He began selling his designs at Charles Gallay and by 1999, was a top seller at Barneys. In 2001, he signed a distribution deal with the Italian sales agency EBA. In 2002, his first runway show was sponsored by American Vogue. Owens moved to Paris in 2003, where he continues to live and work.
Owens began experimenting with furniture design in his own home in 2005. Parisian gallerist and dealer Philippe Jousse saw his work and helped introduce Owens’ furniture to the public. Owens creates limited-edition series that include chairs, sofas, and lighting, characterized by unusual material combinations (bone, wood, resin, concrete, cashmere, antlers, and fiberglass) and juxtaposing shapes (sharp angles complemented by unexpected curves).