You should never look directly at the sun, but Rick Owens’s new sunglasses might make you feel like you can. The coolest goth dude on the planet is out with two new styles on Wednesday. First up is The Shield, true armour for the eyes in a hypoallergenic surgical frame. It’s a Rick Owens classic—you’ll look like you’re sitting back and preparing to watch the apocalypse in 3-D.
And for those who follow Owens’ every move with a devotion similar to that of readers Gwyneth Paltrow’s Goop (and Rick groupies are indeed real acolytes), there is the Rick Frame, the wraparound glasses worn by the designer himself.
For a lookbook, Owens put some cool models near a sarcophagus and had them give the sunglasses for a spin. In between, he went to the Venice Biennale for his wife and creative partner Michèle Lamy’s latest Lamyland installation, and opened a new art show at Estonia’s Kumu Art Museum, “The Pure and the Damned.” We caught up with the designer over email as he made his way around the world, discussing these new sunglasses, “the Olympics of art,” and being subtle versus “big and stupid.”
These are really good sunglasses. Just right for the time (and the season). The Shield is just that. This is a recurring style for you; why is it so enduring?
IT’S FULL ON 70S SPACE ALIEN PORN STAR
The Rick is your personal signature. Is it important to have signatures in fashion?
I ENJOY ONE.
I love the way you paired them with that sarcophagus. Is it okay to wear sunglasses indoors?
THERE ARE WORSE THINGS THAT COULD HAPPEN.
The Venice Biennale has been a great locus of creativity for you, where you and Michèle Lamy have done some of your most invigorating projects. This year there was a new Lamyland project, and you showed Double Bubble… What is it about Venice, and this kind of coming together for art, that brings out this energy in you?
VENICE IS THE OLYMPICS OF ART. AND THE GIARDINI IS LIKE THE “IT’S A SMALL WORLD” RIDE OF THE ART DISNEYLAND. THE MOST MAGICAL PLACE ON EARTH.
What was the thing you saw at the Biennale that really stuck in your mind? (A work of art—or perhaps something else.) Did you learn any lessons? Give or get any advice?
I REALLY ENJOYED ANNE IMHOF’S INSTALLATION IN LAST BIENNALE’S GERMAN PAVILLION……. MOODY FLEXIBLE TEENS UNDER GLASS GUARDED BY GERMAN SHEPHERDS- WHAT WAS NOT TO LOVE?
Your new show, with your friend (and sometimes model) Tommy Cash, is in his native country of Estonia—an outrageously beautiful place, I hear. Also beautiful is this line in the press description of the exhibition: “This realm of Tommy Cash and Rick Owens works like a concentrate: it’s an amplified version of usually subtle hints and whispers.” Why did you decide to amplify? What do you learn from making the subtle louder?
I LIKE NUANCE, BUT I ALSO LIKE A BOLD CLEAR MESSAGE. TAKE MY ALWAYS WRITING IN CAPS FOR INSTANCE- ITS A WAY OF STYLIZING THOUGHTS WITH THE IMPRESSION OF A CHILD SPEAKING TOO LOUDLY IN CHURCH….. “BIG AND STUPID” HAS ALWAYS BEEN ONE OF MY FAVORITE AESTHETIC MOTTOS……..