Date 25.05.2011

A fashion slaughterhouse: RICK OWENS flagship store – Seoul(SK)

It was the most appropriate light in the metropolitan city of Seoul for my visit to the impressive space of Rick Owens. Sunset just disappeared behind the rough concrete skyline and the driver entered the luxurious artery of Dosan Park. On the left, I first saw Duma’s Hermès with its equestrian roof ornament, and turning right there was Rick Owens. I felt the familiarity of the store façade immediately, mirroring the atmosphere of emptiness that dominates Rick’s runway shows. While taking pictures of the store I stated, ‘it must have been a revolution for local consumers when the store opened its doors’. The staff explained fully confident and content, ‘Koreans were waiting for an alternative form of quality and style. He is very well known in here; Rick’s lines and their specialties are synonymous of modernity in Korea’. While parents have been admiring and consuming corporate French and Italian fashion houses for decades, it seems the youth are obsessed with the unreadable. They include shadows and smokes; they are playful with the body while respecting and honoring its ergonomics. They love it, to the point that I found it easy to spot his garments around the town.

Cleverly divided, the ground floor is dedicated to women while men are upstairs. Well known within retail, men are always the lazy ones for cellar shopping but here it is about climbing. There are enough serene square meters to discover what Rick’s universe is about: –‘We sometimes let people start with a t-shirt in order to understand patterns; colors and final look’s’ added the staff. When entering the RICK OWENS store, a grey pillar holds a life-size wax replica of Rick’s torso – the store on the opposite side of the street is an aesthetic abyss in comparison. Sometimes RICK’S store gives a Parisian feeling in Seoul, but there are no flower bouquets around. Koreans know exactly who he is, and I would not be surprised if young visionary clients request an interior project. After the atmospheric experience of RICK’S store what could be more pleasing than an encounter with one of his cherished pieces of furniture with a view on the Han River?

- 651 Sinsa-Dong, Gangnam-Gu
Seoul 135-897 (SK)

Monday to Sunday from 11am to 8pm