Inside Designer Rick Owens’ “Death, Mortality, and Utopia” Venice Penthouse

published Jul 12, 2018
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If you’ve ever seen furniture designed by Rick Owens, then you can already picture the interior of his Venice penthouse. The fashion designer began creating pieces for the home in 2007 with his wife, Michèle Lamy. MR PORTER recently toured their Italian home, the first public feature of the space.

Indeed, you’ll see quite a bit of his brutalist designs around the space, peppered with the occasional antique, like a set of Eliel Saarinen high-backed chairs. And while the space doesn’t appear to ooze coziness, Owens doesn’t sacrifice comfort. “I had a very formal vision in mind,” he tells MR PORTER. “People say, ‘The furniture is so severe,’ and I go, ‘Yeah, but I have huge mattresses that you just plop on top.’ So it’s all about reclining.”

The starkness isn’t just for aesthetics—it serves as inspiration. “After you’ve showered and brushed your teeth in a marble cube, you’re going to aspire to something a little higher,” he says. “You’re going to attempt something more extreme. So that’s what I was doing. I was creating an environment for myself that would force me to demand more and demand something better. And I have to be at my very, very, best.”

And while on the surface, it might look like a sparse space is incongruent with his adopted home, Owens thinks otherwise. Marble is hardly out of place in the floating city. Plus, “it would have been silly to do something overly theatrical, something destroyed and brutalist. I think this has a real continuity with the community.”

See more photos and read more about the space over on MR PORTER.