Rick Owens may be used to grabbing headlines – whether its by casting a troupe of stepdancers or provocatively exposing genitals – but this time around, his catwalk show was subject to furor through something entirely not of his doing. For the designer’s Spring/Summer 2016 show, one of his models took to the catwalk brandishing a sign dubbed with the phrase “Kill Angela Merkel,” followed by “Not.”

The move was not planned and was slammed by the American-born, Paris-based designer, who stated “It was not my idea. He pulled it out and I punched him when he came off stage. He’s been my male muse for the past 12 years or something and I think he just felt comfortable enough to do something in a show and I’m furious.”

Just to reiterate, the house themselves released the following statement:


“Rick Owens does not claim responsibility for the act of protest by a model at the Spring Summer 2016 show. This was an independent statement and does not reflect the opinion of the house of Rick Owens.””

It has since emerged that the model in question – Jera at TIAD agency – has since been removed from the company’s website, so we can assume the move didn’t go down too well with his employers, either.
Words by Alec Leach
Digital Fashion Editor

Alec Leach grew up in Brighton, England, but now lives in Berlin, where he leads Highsnobiety's digital fashion content.

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