From the outside looking in, everything about Rick Owens is hard to digest. From his designs to his materials of choice, you’re bound to ogle at just how out of left field it is.
Since the brand’s conception in 1994, Owens has created an impenetrable fashion dominion that simply can’t be fucked with. He’s solicited a fanbase that is committed to everything that is Rick. You can’t just own one piece. You need to continuously grow your collection because his pieces put you in a trance, locking in your wallet and soul forever.
Today, Owens has countless garments that are looked at as holy grails, staples or so out of pocket that you need to own them. To help you navigate the freaky world of Rick Owens, here are seven pieces that you need to know about.
Initially released in the Dustulator collection found in Fall/Winter 06’, the Rick Owens Dunks are widely renowned as the holy grail of all that is Rick. Originally, Owens found athletic sneakers to lack a certain poetic beauty. In response to his own criticism, he released what he deemed a monster truck of a shoe. A side zip, high top, can’t fit under a pair of boot cut jeans sneaker that would end up changing reality as we all know it.
What helps the mystic of this sneaker is the fact that a certain sportswear brand in Oregon didn’t appreciate the awfully similar swooping design on the outer panel of the upper. A supposed cease and desist letter was sent, resulting in the sneaker’s value exploding in a nuclear fashion.
Nowadays, it’s hard to find the sneaker for less than triple your rent, adding to the grail-like nature of this piece. However, if you can get your hands on them, you’ll find that the Rick Owens Dunks are worth your time and money.
The Geobasket is known to many as the successor to the dunk, and the go-to sneaker before the Ramones were released. Geobaskets first entered the market in 2010 as an updated version of the Dunks. The sneaker featured the loved high top cut along with subtle design changes and additional patterns on the upper.
However, the Geobasket would feature a heel that jutted farther out than the original and an upper, outer panel design that would show exposed stitching and a more geometrically sound logo.
Owens has made a number of experimental design choices on the Geobasket. They tend to release the shoe in a leather upper with solid colour blocking. Although, we’ve seen Owens slap snakeskin or laces in a similar fashion to the Megalace bottoms. In 2020, we saw the addition of a bright pink and yellow Geobasket under the Irise colourway as a part of his TECUATL line.
The Geobasket is looked at as a sneaker that captivates those around you. Owens has a knack for taking otherwise common colours and incorporating them onto garments that force a double-take. This skill is put best on display on every single pair of Geobaskets.
Some look at the Ramones as an oversized Chuck Taylor, while others see a generation-defining sneaker that bridged the gap between avant-garde and streetwear. In an interview with our very own Stella Hughes, Owens said “I always associated these shoes with the way the Ramones (the band) looked, and the blunt but graceful simplicity of their chord changes and lyrics to their songs.”
Born and raised in California, Owens practically grew up in and around Converse Chuck Taylors. This influence is on full display in the Ramones. The upper features an aggressive and bombastic toe cap with leather usually sitting beneath it. The sneaker runs with the same high-top cut that Owens has seen success in the past with the addition of long laces which wrap around the lower calf.
From Playboi Carti and Shy Glizzy to A$AP Rocky and Kanye West, Rick Owens Ramones have been spotted surfacing all over the rap scene. The shoe was seen on the feet of influential individuals who were taken seriously in fashion fandom. The result? A flurry of Rick Owens-related searches, bringing fashion lovers together to join hands and praise the Ramone.
Ramones can be found in both his mainline and DRKSHDW collection which is seen as his more budget-friendly alternative. Overall, the designs are super sleek and are what-you-see-is-what-you-get. Currently, the Ramone is the easiest to attain of the three sneakers listed so far.
Although they appear most prominently in the divisive DRKSHDW line, Creatch Cargos are a classic Owens pant that displays his genius. The dropped crotch, multi-pocket, long drawstring design has been emulated, or at least an attempt was made, across who knows how many fast-fashion outlets.
We first saw the Creatch Cargo in 2008 when Owens included the pants in his Spring/Summer runway show. Since then, the pants have rarely skipped a season due to their popularity and their overall ability to represent the brand in the best way possible. The straight cut, washed colourways and velcro sash have proven to be versatile in all fashion realms.
These pants are another great representation of streetwear and avant-garde linking up in a way that maintains a niche image. Although the design itself has been ripped off numerous times, original pairs of Creatch Cargos are easy to spot in a crowd and worth the $800 price tag.
Although Rick isn’t well known for his accessories, the Shield Sunglasses are easily his most well-known piece. They’re the perfect pair of shades for blocking out unwanted attention and giving off an untouchable vibe. Kim K has been seen wearing the black pair with mirrored lenses and silver studs when the weather calls for it.
The Shield Sunglasses have a surgical stainless steel frame which ranges in colour, as well as a voluminous curved black lens which spans across your entire face. The shades come in an array of colourways ranging from his staple tonal colour blocking schemes to bright coloured, summer festival-ready looks.
BAUHAUS LEATHER JACKET
The Bauhaus leather jacket is the piece that Rick believes changed his career. This multidimensional jacket was well received by both the mainstream fashion community and Rick heads alike. Its look has become a must-have from season to season as its angled zipper and off-kilter flaps make for an unrivalled design.
Rick Owens has a grunge aesthetic which is disruptive and rebellious. The Bauhaus jacket encapsulates this vision through its high funnel collar and asymmetric design which has become a normality in Owens’ work.
The jacket itself is composed of 100% lamb leather which allows for the jacket itself to sit in with a draped effect. The jacket’s design composition along with material choices makes it one of the more unique leather jackets on the market today.
The attainability of this jacket is on the lower end as pieces have become progressively rarer and rarer. However, if you can get your hands on a Bauhaus jacket, you’re bound to be blown away by the immense quality and design that Owens spent so long perfecting.
JUMBO TATLIN COAT
Although this jacket is seen as a meme of some sort these days, the Rick Owens Jumbo Tatlin Coat is a piece that all of those who are interested in the brand need to know. The jacket has become a uniform of some kind for Rick himself as he is prominently seen shirtless with the coat draped over his cut physique, paired with Kiss boots.
The piece has a peaked lapel collar which accents the usual bare chest of Owens well, along with exposed, padding stitching across the chest. On the back, the jacket features an overlooked detail where webbing trim is connected by a fast-release harness.
The Jumbo Tatlin Coat isn’t necessarily a must-own, but definitely, a must-know if you’re going to be entering the world of Rick.
This has been your introduction to all things important in the world of Rick Owens. Although his pieces can be jarring and intimidating at first, there are loads of pieces that act as gateways to the dimension that is Rick Owens.
More on CULTED
GREAT BALLS OF FIRE: RICK OWENS WAS NOT TO BE MISSED