Rick Owens is a truly legendary designer - and one with an unmatched sense of humor. We look back at some of the iconic creative's most outrageous moments.

Rick Owens is no stranger to controversy. Each collection the legendary American-born, Paris-based designer unveils seems to be met with a headline-grabbing event of some sort. The man himself has made it clear that he is not one to play by the rules; his 2011 Rizzoli book contains the absolutely fantastic line "I would lay a black glittering turd on the white landscape of conformity."

While Rick's groundbreaking and esoteric collections have influenced countless designers and found love everywhere from obscure boutiques to hip hop superstars, his many tongue-in-cheek antics prove time and again that being a legendary fashion designer doesn't mean you can't have a sense of humor.

With that in mind, here's a breakdown of ten of the most outrageous moments in the Dark Lord's long and illustrious career - which shows no sign of slowing down, if his brand's estimated $140 million revenue is anything to go by. Long may he reign.

Water Sports

While these days it's no secret that Rick Owens is a remarkable designer with an equally remarkable sense of humor, perhaps his most outrageous moment came nearly a decade ago. A 2006 spread with i-D featured a composite shot of Rick Owens pissing on himself in a decrepit basement. Long a fan of fetish clubs and all things seedy (not to mention sandwich-sized pockets), Owens simply stated in the interview "Dirty habits, that's what my clothing is all about." The designer would also shoot himself in the head and be decapitated for a 2008 photo campaign, too.

Pitti Uomo Statues

In 2006 Rick commissioned the experts at Madame Tussauds to create a series of wax statues bearing his likeness. The first statue went to Pitti Uomo's Immagine tradeshow, and in true to form, depicted a naked Owens urinating on the floor. The statue has since been covered up (sort of) and lives in the designer's Paris flagship, while further stores would feature doppelgängers with Godzilla-style tails. “At a certain point in his life, when he reaches a level of stature, a man commissions his portrait to go over the fireplace,” Owens commented “It’s a classical tradition, but I thought I’d do it in wax because that’s funnier. It’s my Dorian Gray moment.”

Got Wood?

When London's Selfridges launched its "Board Games" project celebrating skate culture's influence on the fashion industry, the luxury department store enlisted Rick Owens to create his very own skate deck. True to form, Rick pulled out all the stops with a board crafted from petrified wood that retailed at a whopping $15,000. Obviously meant as an art piece rather than for skating (even if it was skateable, would you use a $15,000 deck?), Rick was nonetheless hounded by mainstream publications of all kinds - who were clearly unappreciative of his esoteric sensibilities. Selfridges would go on to commission a 25-foot statue of the Dark Lord - clutching a burning torch, of course - as part of their "World of Rick Owens" festivities.

Action Man

It seems as well as life-sized mannequins and colossal statues, Rick is partial to miniature replications of his likeness, too. While there's very little information on this Rick Owens action figure, we're extremely happy it exists.

Step Dancers

In a career filled with highlights and controversy, Owens' Spring/Summer 2014 womenswear presentation stands out as a fashion moment of legendary proportions. Rather than the recruiting the standard parade of waif supermodels, the Dark Lord assembled a cast of step dancers from the Washington Divas, Soul Steppers, Momentums and Zetas, who stomped their way round an abandoned industrial space dressed head-to-toe in Rick's garments.

While the casting of the dance troupe seemed to break every rule in the fashion book, Owens stated that he was mainly challenging the fashion industry's sizeism. "I was looking around my studio in Italy and all of the women I work with every day...I was thinking, ‘I’m asking all of these nice ladies to work on all these skinny clothes and there’s something gross about that.’ We can take a break from these skinny models for once.” Rick's casting of step dancers raised salient points about an industry so obsessed with unrealistic standards of beauty - and made for an attention-grabbing performance fitting of his brutalist, brooding clothing.

On His Knees

As if urinating statues and action figures weren't enough, Rick saved his most ridiculous doppelgängers for his Hong Kong flagship. The store features both table and chairs that saw life-sized models of Owens - complete with bulging biceps and long mane of pitch-black hair - designed as part of the furniture pieces. The table and chair are a tongue in cheek homage to Allen Jones's 1969 Hatstand, Table & Chair artworks - replacing scantily clad ladies with the Dark Lord himself, naturally.

My Little (Rick) Pony

In the aftermath of the 2015 Nepal earthquake, Italian luxury retailer LUISAVIAROMA teamed up with My Little Pony to create a set of one-off toys with a little help from some designer friends. Balmain, Versace, Missoni and KENZO designed Ponies in a dizzying array of colors and patterns, the Dark Lord stuck to his guns and dressed his sort-of cute toy in all black. Obviously.

Rock 'n' Roll

While the aforementioned dance troupe at Owens' Spring/Summer 2014 women's show made headlines all over the globe, the designer's menswear show of the same season was no less extraordinary. Rick recruited Estonian metal band Winny Puhh to play in the middle of the catwalk, decked out in fetish-style masks and using a Motley Crüe-style rotating drumkit (!!!). While for most designers this would be a moment of pure madness, for Owens - admirer of obscure subcultures from New York drag queens to Scandinavian metal - it was pretty much business as usual.


While unveiling his Fall/Winter 2015 "SPHINX" collection, Owens' models and muses paraded down the runway in a collection that took heavy influence from naval attire. The Dark Lord - ever the prankster - appropriated the portholes used on ships and submarines and placed them at crotch-level on his garments, revealing models' genitals. "It's a little bit of juvenile transgression," Owens commented. "Boys with their dicks out is such a simple, primal, childish gesture."

Marble Bed

Not just confined to esoteric fashion, the world of Rick Owens extends into a pretty considerable line of furniture. Centerpiece of which was this mixed alabaster and marble bed - which took three days to install at the designer's first furniture exhibition in 2010, before promptly selling for $216,000. Of course, marble isn't exactly the softest of materials out there - but this is Rick Owens, after all.

For more from the Dark Lord, check out our street style report from his latest Paris fashion show.

We Recommend
  • luxury shorts
    10 Summer Shorts to Get Prepped for Warmer Times
    • Style
  • Image on Highsnobiety
    Polish Up Your Sneaker Rotation with These Silver Kicks
    • Style
  • Image on Highsnobiety
    Rich Paul's Mauve-alous New Balance 550s Are Here
    • Sneakers
  • men's silver jewelry
    10 Pieces of Sterling Silver Jewelry That Will Never Go Out of Style
    • Accessories
  • Image on Highsnobiety
    Isamaya Ffrench Turns Julia Fox Into a Glam Rock Alien
    • Beauty
  • Image on Highsnobiety
What To Read Next
  • mugler ss24
    With Angela Bassett & Paris Hilton, Mugler SS24 Did the Thing
    • Style
  • nocta nike run
    Don't Walk, Run in NOCTA's Running Gear
    • Style
  • red panda dunks
    Now If You Look to the Right, You'll See the Red Panda Dunks
    • Sneakers
  • adidas & The Simpsons' collaborative sneakers, including Itchy, Scratchy & Poochie-themed Rivalry and Pro shoes in grey, blue, and black
    adidas & The Simpsons' New Shoes Died On the Way to Their Home Planet
    • Sneakers
  • ivy park adidas black collection
    Okay, This IVY PARK x adidas Drop Is Actually Good (Maybe It's Best)
    • Style
  • Penn Badgley Skirt Outfit Valentino SS24
    Penn Badgley's Pantsless Valentino 'Fit Is Perfection
    • Style
*If you submitted your e-mail address and placed an order, we may use your e-mail address to inform you regularly about similar products without prior explicit consent. You can object to the use of your e-mail address for this purpose at any time without incurring any costs other than the transmission costs according to the basic tariffs. Each newsletter contains an unsubscribe link. Alternatively, you can object to receiving the newsletter at any time by sending an e-mail to info@highsnobiety.com

Web Accessibility Statement

Titelmedia (Highsnobiety), is committed to facilitating and improving the accessibility and usability of its Website, www.highsnobiety.com. Titelmedia strives to ensure that its Website services and content are accessible to persons with disabilities including users of screen reader technology. To accomplish this, Titelmedia has engaged UsableNet Inc, a leading web accessibility consultant to help test, remediate and maintain our Website in-line with the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG), which also bring the Website into conformance with the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990.


Please be aware that our efforts to maintain accessibility and usability are ongoing. While we strive to make the Website as accessible as possible some issues can be encountered by different assistive technology as the range of assistive technology is wide and varied.

Contact Us

If, at any time, you have specific questions or concerns about the accessibility of any particular webpage on this Website, please contact us at accessibility@highsnobiety.com, +49 (0)30 235 908 500. If you do encounter an accessibility issue, please be sure to specify the web page and nature of the issue in your email and/or phone call, and we will make all reasonable efforts to make that page or the information contained therein accessible for you.