Earlier this year, Rick Owens’ menswear show made headlines for all the wrong reasons as one model staged a political protest and was reportedly punched by the designer once he got backstage.
No stranger to causing a stir during fashion week – anyone remember those very suggestive holes in his menswear collection last season? – Rick Owens’ show stole all the headlines as the male model, Jera, pulled out a banner as he got to the end of the catwalk, reading, “Please Kill Angela Merkel”, followed by the word, “Not.”
The somewhat confusing political message about the German Chancellor was not one prompted by Owens to draw attention to the show and his brand were very quick to release a statement explaining that they had nothing to do with it.
“Rick Owens does not claim responsibility for the act of protest by a model at the Spring Summer 2016 show. This was an independent statement and does not reflect the opinion of the house of Rick Owens.”
And the designer himself made an even bigger effort to show that he was not happy about what had taken place. Mr Owens reportedly told Women’s Wear Daily:
“It’s a crazy, rogue, f***ing model that I punched when I came back out. Please say that I punched him.”
A furious Rick Owens was clearly not happy about what took place on his catwalk and it’s safe to say that Jera will never be walking for the brand again and may well have put his career as a whole at serious risk.
The designer has now spoken out about what took place on that catwalk.
“I was pissed at that moment. I thought, ‘Hey, this is my spotlight, and you f***ed it up.’ The whole reason I hit the guy was I knew if I didn’t react very strongly it might get out that this was some stunt I had planned. Everybody had to know how strongly I disagreed with this. I don’t mind drama, but I don’t like death threats.”
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Speaking to Surface magazine, Rick added:
“What he did was just so illogical. He was very accepted here and embraced by a community of people who were very affectionate toward him – a group that now feels more hostility toward him than I do because they feel protective of me. It was really a self-destructive gesture. That was my biggest problem – that it was a negative gesture. Whenever I do provocation, I’m always doing something that I feel is based on warmth and kindness and love.”