PARIS — “Show days are like birthdays,” said a very smiley Rick Owens, who took over a space on the second floor of Le Bon Marché to debut his second collaboration with Birkenstock on Thursday, only a couple of hours after his men’s fall 2019 show.
“Everybody comes up to you and says nice things to you all day long,” gushed the designer, who took the time to chat with all the young fans who stopped by to check out his Birkenstock collection. “It’s lovely. I relish it. How could you not?”
The new installment of the Rick Owens x Birkenstock collaboration will be on sale exclusively at Le Bon Marché until Feb. 8, when it will drop online. Two other pop-ups in Hong Kong and Shanghai are planned for Jan. 23 and 25.
At the Parisian department store, all the different styles of the collection — the Arizona sandal in black and silver or gold foil, the Rotterdam sandal in leather and Velcro, but also a Rotterhiker boot with buckles — were showcased on blocks of raw black cork.
“The brief for the set design was Mayan pyramids,” explained Owens. “The older I’m getting, I kind of feel like I haven’t really investigated my Mexican heritage enough. My mom’s Mexican and I haven’t really delved into that. I’m not researching it very scientifically but I do have to go and check (the pyramids) out.”
He added that one of his favorite architects, Frank Lloyd Wright, had an “Art Deco/Mayan” period. “If it’s good enough for Frank Lloyd Wright, it’s good enough for me,” said the designer.
Owens’ wife, artist Michèle Lamy, is currently focusing on a project a little closer geographically: Lamy and a team of partners will be opening a restaurant at the Musée d’Art Moderne, the building opposite the Palais de Tokyo, in October.
“I will be in charge of its design,” said Lamy, wearing a voluminous Rick Owens jacket. “It will be a place of life, a restaurant but also a grocery shop, not anything fancy but where things can happen.” She announced that Michelin-starred chef Akrame will be in charge of the kitchen.