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.