Suddenly, Everyone's Copying Rick Owens

Designer's dark style spawns wealth of imitators
By Matt Cantor,  Newser User
Posted Sep 3, 2009 12:16 PM CDT
A model presents creations by U.S designer Rick Owens as part of his men's spring-summer 2010 collection Friday June 26, 2009, in Paris, France.    (AP Photo/Jacques Brinon)
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(Newser) – In every decade, says a retail expert, there’s a time when “everybody seems to be on the same wavelength, and for now that wavelength is Rick Owens.” The California designer has stayed true to his “angular flaps, zigzagging zippers, gossamer T-shirts and biker jackets” for years—and now others, from Alexander Wang to Haider Ackermann to Helmut Lang, seem to be emulating the style, writes Ruth La Ferla in the New York Times.

Is Owens being ripped off? He doesn’t seem to think so: “When something’s in the air, no one can really own it.” Another designer agrees: “We’re responding to a feeling that just gets channeled somehow.” But intentional imitation or not, the Owens style, “a confluence of rock star and crypt chic,” is everywhere: Topshop has a version of his biker jacket, while American Apparel has versions of his T-shirts.