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Driven by memories of his older Mexican cousins wearing Champion tees and shorts when he visited them in the 1970s, Rick Owens reimagined its sportswear as togas, loincloths and briefs, while using a monochrome version of its iconic logo on a capsule collection of T-shirts, sweatshirts and windbreakers for his first collaborative capsule with the American athletic heritage brand that debuted during his spring/summer 20 men’s show. It was a collaboration that encapsulated the past, present and future of Rick Owens. Fast-forward to spring/summer 22 with a collection that embraces a soft post-pandemic hedonism, Rick has further weaved his history, aesthetics and evolving philosophies with Champion’s, while furthering conscious concerns.
“When I started my label in the nineties, I hand drew my logo as a cross between the Champion logo and a Jean Patou perfume label,” Rick explained back in June 2019, remembering early memories of his older cousins wearing Champion and cementing the logo in his brain. “They both had a similar vintage calligraphic flair… I wasn’t conscious of it then, but I see now how that balance has defined my on-going aesthetic – a 1930s black and white movie version of both American uniform utility and European glam.” This memory and symbiotic realisation has been a motif throughout the first two Rick Owens x Champion capsules.
Since the inception of his goth glam eponymous label in 1994, Rick Owens has always been more than a fashion house. It’s a tribe, a family, a commune, a movement whose inhabitants are shape-shifting, otherworldly daydreamers that lurk in the darkest corners of our imaginations. Over the course of 28 years, its collections of draped, dark, and perfectly cut “glunge” – glamour meets grunge – garments continually provide much more than just clothes. For more than two decade, Rick Owens was self-sufficient in the sense that it was crafted for, and cultivated by, the community it had built. In recent years, fashion’s Dark Lord has opened up his world and looked to considered collaborations to further his collective’s cause. “Doing collaborations has been an interesting new exercise for me — originally I dismissed collaborations as hype machines and I rolled my eyes, like a lot of us,” he told Hypebeast last year. “I’ve been aloof and reclusive for so long, but I changed my life a little bit and I opened up a little bit more. I was ready to talk to people, I was ready to participate in the world more. Before, I had my head down, working on my own in isolation. I’d been doing that for 18 years, and it felt like time to look around and meet some people, get involved and participate in the world.”
“WITH A POST-COVID IN VIEW THERE MIGHT BE A SENSE OF FRUSTRATED APPETITES DEMANDING TO BE DOUBLY SATISFIED THIS SUMMER THAT MIGHT MAKE FOR A VORACIOUSNESS FORGETTING THE HUMBLING EXPERIENCE WE ALL JUST WENT THROUGH TOGETHER, THIS COLLECTION EMBRACES HEDONISM BUT IN A SOFT, GRATEFUL WAY REFLECTING THIS NEW PERIOD OF CONTRADICTIVELY TRYING TO MIX GLAM WITH RESPONSIBILITY AND THOUGHTFULNESS.”
- Rick explained in his signature uppercase spring/summer 22 show notes.
His Champion collaboration encapsulates this soft, conscious hedonism, elevating the everyday and pushing the familiar into the realms of the otherworldly. As Rick reimagines iconic Champion active and casualwear products, the collaboration not only uses 100% organic cottons and recycled nylons, but is produced using predominantly locally sourced materials, while all packaging will incorporate plastic free, biodegradable materials and recycled paper. “It’s about responsibility,” Rick recently explained during an interview with 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.