Culted Community talks: Rick Owens is the daddy of fashion

Culted Community talks: Rick Owens is the daddy of fashion

by Robyn Pullen
4 min

In every generation there’s one designer that just gets it. Their innate instinct for breaking boundaries, setting trends, and understanding the zeitgeist in every collection just sets them apart from the rest, and they do it all with ease. Right now, that person is Rick Owens. Two weeks ago we asked our community on Instagram, “is Rick Owens the designer of our generation?” and the response overwhelmingly swayed towards “yes.” Don’t take our word for it, though: here’s what you had to say on the subject.

Rick Owens is a designer whose style is immediately recognisable, conjuring words like “proto-punk,” “glunge,” (a blend of glam and grunge), and images of a dark, dystopian post-apocalypse. However, it’s clear that there’s much more to Rick Owens’ designs than its buzz words.

@kentaveryphoto argued that “all these streetwear brands are derivative of Rick,” highlighting his impact on younger designers. Whilst the aesthetic of Rick Owens’ collections might seem at first to be so stark and definitive that you’d notice his influence anywhere, the true reason that Rick Owens resonates with this generation on another level is because his impact is evident everywhere

You’d be hard pressed to find a brand or designer that hasn’t taken inspiration from Rick Owens at one point or another, and that’s because he’s so ahead of the curb. Whilst many people interpret his style as somewhat “satanic,” as @bozias puts it, Rick’s also doing something that few of his competitors have achieved; defining a niche so iconic that it becomes the norm, at least for some.

To defend the opposition, a handful of people in our comment section put forward Demna (Balenciaga’s Creative Director) as the designer of our generation, arguing that his clothing is more wearable and timeless. However, we’d argue that that’s missing the point. Rick Owens is arguably the designer of our generation because of his immediately recognisable aesthetic.

Like @jastahl3 says, “Wear a piece of Rick you’ll get looks, compliments, laid, etc.” It’s an IYKYK brand, and one that gets more clout than Tabis. In contrast, Demna’s designs are either Ikea towels or nondescript black jackets, undeniably beautifully crafted but not immediately recognisable as Balenciaga. 

As @austynrichaustynrich says, “[Rick Owens] brand will become a house we speak more about in years to come,” and as much as that is just a prediction, it’s one that most of us can see coming true. Already, Rick Owens is more than a designer but a public figure too, known as well by the public as the designers of fashion’s golden age like John Galliano or Gianni Versace. He’s established the status that every artist needs to be recognised years in the future, merging talent with personality and becoming a celebrity in his own right.

Of course, fashion is subjective. Everyone’s entitled to their own interpretation of which designer’s had the most impact in this generation, but there’s no denying Rick Owens’ impact has reverberated across the industry and fashion community, with shock waves echoing long after each collection. His quality, consistency in brand image, storytelling, and overall confidence as an artist say enough. But what do you think? Is Rick Owens the designer of this generation?

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