Rick Owens opens first Los Angeles store in 1920s ribbon factory
Fashion designer Rick Owens has opened his first store in Los Angeles on North La Brea avenue – installing architectural elements influenced by a legendary filmmaker within a former industrial space (+ slideshow).
Together with architect Anna Tumaini, who he has worked with for the past nine years on stores and personal projects, the designer turned the abandoned 450-square-metre factory into a space that Hollywood founding father and The Ten Commandments director Cecil B Demille could have used as a set.
"My goal was to create something Cecil B Demille worthy using the architectural vocabulary we have built up together over all this time," said Owens.
Discreetly hidden behind a concrete wall, the store is just down the street from the Plaza Salon bar, a Mexican drag venue where Owens said he spent "a lot of late, boozy nights 20 years ago".
Inside, the high ceilings are supported by giant darkly-coloured angular beams – along with a "fog wall" that has become a signature feature within the brand's stores.
"Our signature fog wall took years for us to perfect," Owens said. "It's basically a shallow glass tank, covering a wall from floor to ceiling, filled with a billowing ejaculation of fog every five minutes."
Owen's abstract version of a swimming pool is situated in the centre of the store – manifesting as a floor-to-ceiling tank that releases bubbles one by one in a "tranquillising" motion.
The American fashion designer transferred his typically monochromatic colour palette into the store's design using references from religious films.
"Epic biblical movies were the first idea of exoticism I could cling to when I was growing up and have influenced everything I do, doomed heroic purity in black and grey draped robes in huge, dusty marble temples," Owens said.
Outside, an open courtyard with high white-coloured walls reflects light into the space throughout the day.
Owens launched his label in 1994, and showed his first catwalk collection in 2002. As well as a long-standing collaboration with Adidas, the fashion designer creates furniture pieces, some of which were exhibited at Sebastian+Barquet gallery in London in 2009.
Other recently completed fashion stores includes Christian de Portzamparc and Peter Marino's garment-inspired boutique for Dior in Seoul, with towering white fibreglass panels covering the facade.
Images courtesy of Owenscorp.