History of Pitti

To celebrate the legacy of Pitti Uomo, we are launching a four-part video series highlighting four select designers who have contributed to the heart of Pitti’s history. The third in the series features Rick Owens, a visionary designer with a distinctive aesthetic.

With gothic-infused collections championed by gender-neutrality, Rick Owens’ self-curated future looks fluid and undeniably dark. His noir-themed fashion-sportswear has earned him a loyal legion of followers, making headlines via provocative and somewhat surreal presentations. A California native with a home-studio in Paris, the label was originally founded in 1994. Flash forward to 2020, It’s not hard to identify an Owens designed piece. His signature drapey silhouette wraps the body in a unique, almost theatrical fashion. 

For his FW06 menswear show at Florence’s Pitti Uomo Immagine, Owens deftly pushed the envelope. Divided into three segments, the show was an undeniable talking point.

DUSTULATOR: The first runway show of his FW06 men’s collection.

DUSTDAM: An installation at the Stazione Leopolda featuring 30 dust garments and brutalist-inspired furniture. The outfits were set on a grey 30-metre long wood wall.

DUSTPUMP: A unique and controversial experience. The innovate designer produced a lifesize naked waxwork of himself urinating onto a rug of mirrors and sand. The sculpture was created by the team behind Madame Tussauds, and eventually made its way to Owens’ Paris flagship store. The show was an avant-garde success, exploring Owens’ unconventional take on the ideals of beauty, solidifying his cult-like disruptor status.

‘’Doing Pitti was like being chosen to perform a ritual in front of a council of elders,’’ says Owens. ‘’It was a rite of passage that allowed me to define themes I would be developing for the future, and it allowed everyone to register who I was. For better or worse.’’