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“Beauty is an important cultural contribution and while I’m conscious of the waste in this industry, I’m not ashamed for being part of it,” Rick Owens told us after showing his autumn/winter 19 collection. “Contributing more beauty than we consume is the attitude to strive for,” he added as he introduced the debut of his collaboration with the socially and environmentally conscious brand, Veja. Given that Rick had been selling cult-coveted sneakers for more than a decade, this collaboration was a statement. “I might have been part of a sneaker culture that began as niche and then developed into a story about consumption and status,” Rick explained. This self-awareness left him uneasy and encouraged him to research more responsible production, ultimately leading him to Veja. “I’m the last person to have any authority promoting sustainability but that’s the message – we can all start somewhere.” What started in 2019, continues into 2021 and beyond. And it’s influence is growing.
Rick Owens explained in trademark uppercase within the show notes that accompanied his spring/summer 21 men’s show, Phlegethon. Beyond the collaborative sneakers, recycled plastic was used in raincoats alongside stretch-denim jackets and shorts too. It’s a collaboration that continues much-needed conversations. Filled with biblical, historical and sociopolitical references, Rick’s collections are so much more than clothes. They provide philosophies to make sense of the world today. For many, the designs are armour in the fight for a better world. The on-going partnership with Veja provides the first few steps forward.
“It’s about responsibility,” Rick recently told Hypebeast. “The fashion world can be so much about entitlement, but the idea of being grateful for what you’ve got, and trying to make the best of things, that’s a message I’ve been pushing a lot; thinking more responsibly and less gluttonously. I like that.” All of us at LN-CC like that too. For spring/summer 21, Veja and Rick Owens encapsulate this message by bringing together a further redefinition of the classic Runner Style and re-introducing the vegan Hiking Style too. In this fourth edition, the Runner midsole is made of 57% sugarcane and 5% banana oil combined with 30% Amazonian rubber and 31% rice waste for the out-sole, while the upper V-Knit is made from 100% recycled polyester derived from plastic bottles. Alongside the Runner, the vegan Hiking Style is designed to perform on rough and natural terrains. Are you ready to follow Rick’s lead and move more consciously into tomorrow?