The interview/ Rick Owens

We love The Talks. The brainchild of Sven Schumann and Johannes Bonke, this weekly updated online interview magazine manages to capture the essence of the people it profiles. Richard Saturnino Owens, the uncompromising designer from Porterville, California who claims “elegance and depravity” as one of his favorite combinations is one of the select few. These are our favorite parts of the Rick Owens story.

On his sexuality and being a man who dated men and married a woman, twenty years ago.

“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…”

On being a bad role model

“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”.

On his Catherine Deneuve

“(Michelle) 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.

On the word 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. I don’t really know where one of us ends and the other begins.”

On sketching

“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.


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.”

On his team

“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.”

Check the full interview here

Images via The Talks, Interview Magazine and Butt magazine