Did This Designer Just Debut Human Backpacks?

Sometimes fashion can get a bit too serious. Occasionally, often around now – at the end of the marathon that is fashion month – we can get a bit bogged down with talking fabrics, garment structure and colour palettes. So, thank goodness for the crazy mind of Rick Owens.

Thought Burberry’s monogrammed backpacks were newsworthy? Well this blew them out of the water. Last week, the king of the dramatic fashion stunt once again stole the show by sending models down the runway wearing other models, a bit like backpacks. Yep, you didn’t read that wrong.

Now, in an interview with Dazed & Confused, the designer has revealed exactly what the thinking was behind his idea. As well as “the act of supporting” and the way women nurture and care for one another, the designer said “the act of being burdened makes it deeper”, while Annie Leibovitz’s shot of Leigh Bowery and the human harness acted as his inspiration.

In keeping with his show notes referencing “love, note, humanity, sensibility, femininity and womanhood”, he added: “Compassion and affection is exactly what I was hoping to express.”

Indeed, the show saw models carrying other models on their backs (and sometimes fronts), in compromising positions that would test the limits of even the closest friendships.

To bring his vision to life, the designer also told Dazed & Confused that he “recruited gymnasts from different gymnastic organisations in Paris.”

Looks like the human backpack as next season’s must-have accessory is a little out of our reach, then. However, thinking about it, there would definitely be some advantages…

Who needs a weights session at the gym when you’re sporting this trend?

Rick Owens SS16 show

This one we’re not so sure about…

Rick Owens SS16 show


Looking for a bonding exercise for your next work away day? May we suggest a game of human backpack? Get to know your work mates in ways you never thought you would…

Rick Owens SS16 show

Or maybe not. 

By Elizabeth Bennett