August 21 2014

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In Rick Owens’ SHDW


DRKSHDW's New York Ephemere

“This was really a whim,” said Rick Owens when asked about the launch of the two éphémères (or, in laymen’s terms, temporary stores) for his secondary line, DRKSHDW—the first of which opened in New York this week, with the second scheduled to bow in London on September 4. Set in a sprawling, stark loft on Wooster Street, the Manhattan outpost, which marks DRKSHDW’s first stand-alone space (temporary or otherwise) since the brand’s 2005 inception, is meant to cater to those who don’t want to “schlep” down to Owens’ Hudson Street flagship. “I wanted to make it easier for them,” said the designer. “For better or worse, I’ve established an identity that might not be everybody’s cup of tea, and maybe the DRKSHDW story is easier to stomach.”

DRKSHDW's New York Ephemere

On offer is a wide range of palatable black, white, taupe, and gray his-and-her wares, such as high-top sneakers, wide-brim baseball caps, biker vests, drop-crotch trousers, and the like. Speaking to the boutique’s aesthetic, Owens said, “I wanted the interior raw, hard, and spare”—an approach he’ll no doubt keep in mind when completing his main line’s new Miami flagship, set to debut this December. To “Rick” up the Soho space, the designer brought in a six-meter black plywood and Belgian marble bench from his furniture collection (on loan from Salon 94) which, he said, runs “impractically down the middle.” To round out the shopping experience, songs from friends like Black Asteroid, Beyetone, Richelle, and Lou Reed will play on a loop. Owens hopes the soundtrack helps get his collection’s message across. “I always wanted DRKSHDW to look like workers’ uniforms from an Art Deco prison,” he noted.

As for his favorite part of the project, Owens conceded, “I like the simplicity of just landing, wham, bam, and splitting. Leaving some empty beer bottles on the floor like an illegal warehouse party.” We’ll be sad to see the store go on October 26, but Owens’ strategy is a proven method: Always leave them wanting more.

Rick Owens’ DRKSHDW ephemere is located at 70-72 Wooster Street. The range is also available at Barneys New York, Bergdorf Goodman, Rick Owens boutiques, and other select retailers.

Photos: Jessica Chanen 

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