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Rick Owens, born in Porterville, California, developed a strong interest in the pre-gentrified Hollywood scene and the punk underground culture of Los Angeles during the 1980s. He initially pursued studies in painting at what is now known as Otis College of Art and Design before shifting his focus to patternmaking and draping at Los Angeles Trade Technical College.

In 1994, Owens established his own fashion line, operating out of a basic storefront located off Hollywood Boulevard. His clothing caught the attention of fashion photographer Corinne Day, who featured Kate Moss wearing his designs for Carine Roitfeld's Vogue Paris. This exposure led to the notice of Anna Wintour, editor-in-chief of American Vogue, who supported Owens' first runway show in New York. Additionally, the renowned French fur label Revillon enlisted him to revitalize their centuries-old brand. In 2002, Owens also introduced his menswear line, which he continues to showcase bi-annually at Paris men's fashion week.

In 2003, Owens and his partner Michèle Lamy relocated to Paris, where they settled in a historic five-storey building that previously served as offices for former French president François Mitterrand. Owens has been presenting his runway collections in Paris ever since. In 2004, he established Owenscorp in France, ensuring that the label remained completely independent.

In July 2005, Owens ventured into furniture design, presenting a collection that features materials such as raw plywood, marble, and moose antlers. His furniture designs draw inspiration from influential figures like Eileen Gray, Brâncuși, and California skateparks. The furniture collection has been exhibited at esteemed venues including the Musée d'art Moderne and Le Centre Pompidou in Paris, as well as the Museum of Contemporary Art in Los Angeles.