Paris Fashion Week: Rick Owens Had Steppers Model His Spring 2014 Collection

Rick Owens Paris Fashion Week Steppers_15

Rick Owens, the avant-garde designer and king of the luxury gothic look, decided to forgo the waif-like models that usually stalk the runway and opted for an exclusive cast of plus-size steppers. After marching out in draped monochromatic looks akin to nun’s habits, and sporting mean mugs and menacing looks, the crew of lady steppers broke out into a performance that culminated in a human centipede chain. We’re not sure if Bethann Hardison’s call for diversity on the runway inspired his provocative show, but either way Owens’ performance-driven presentation will be the talk of the town. Check out live clips via SusieBubble’s and Dazed and Confused’s Instagram page and peep the runway images below.

POSTED September 26, 2013 6:55PM IN STYLE NEWS Comments (22) TAGS: , ,




  1. kayeLove says:

    This is a poor duplication of what we do at HBCU’s and we do it while cute, in heals and fashionable. I wonder why that was left out – since this is fashion, why was our fashion left out. These clothes being displayed look like rags on slaves, so I guess that is the message, that black models have to look scary or not fashionable. If you want to see this (with fashion and prettyiness and class and beauty) go to a black college or university, go to their parties or just stalk the campus and see for yourself. Imitation is a form of flattery but only when done right, this is a poor duplication of what we do. Just wow.

  2. TopBananas says:

    I have to agree this was bad. I attended FAMU for 3 years before transferring, and have been on top ranked Step Teams in high school and college. Don’t know how long they’ve been stepping or how much time they had to learn the routine but they were sloppy.

  3. Jay Boogie says:

    The previous commenters just don’t get it. They should be proud of what was done here, and applauding Rick Owens for his most recent work.

    This isn’t about how skillful they can step. This is about breaking boundaries in the fashion industry. Diversity is at the forefront of controversy within the world of high fashion runway shows. If you look at other shows this year, and shows for years and years in the past, you will see that the great majority of runway models have thin frames and white skin. Rick Owens takes things in the opposite direction, and actually makes it work.

    Rick Owens has publicly spread his philosophy that clothes simply look better on people with fit bodies. It’s clear that he was taking a major personal risk with this show. And I should add, I think the clothes look great, as is usual with Rick Owens. They don’t look like “rags on slaves,” but instead portray the usual feelings of chic fierceness that are always present in his shows.

  4. kayeLove says:

    No, we don’t have it wrong – this is bad moves, bad hair, bad shoes, bad clothes, bad bad bad just awful! This designer sucks and I don’t know how he makes money; I would NEVER BUY that!

    That look like “rags on slaves”. It does. His show was WACK. This was WACK. He could have used light poles for a better display of those RAGS.
    Let me find some true steps and clothes on google. LOL
    This is an EPIC FAIL!

  5. kayeLove says:

    Those clothes sucked. Please use more black models.
    Again those clothes could have been displayed no where and made to look cute.

  6. toohotfortv says:

    No, you don’t get it. The clothes these models/dancers/steppers are wearing have nothing to do with Rick Owens making any commentary on slavery. If you know fashion, as you claim you do, you would recognize that what was shown here is exactly in line with what Mr. Owens has built his empire upon. While i do feel the technical aspect of the performance could be improved, you have to give credit to the idea that he used authentic women. If you just can’t appreciate Rick Owen’s aesthetic, that’s one thing but understand that that is just what it is. You don’t understand; I’m not sure why you have chosen to lash out in a comments section of a fashion/lifestyle site. Does your insecurity really run that deep? Bless your little heart ;)

  7. anonymous says:

    Idk what sorority youre in @kayeLove but my sister’s a Delta and she was in this show!! Im so proud of her!! Theyre from different parts of the US and only practiced together a couple times before going overseas. I agree the stepping wasnt that great but not all of the girls were on the same level. My sister can out-step you though…trust me ;-) Rick Owens did a great thing here!!

  8. InkedDarling says:

    I saw better stepping than this is high school, for one. Two, while I admire the concept of getting more women of color and healthy, fit women onto the runway and into high fashion, I can’t help but feel that Rick Owen’s was using black women in particular and diversity in general as a gimmick here, and there is nothing admirable about that. Finally, the shoes are certainly practical for the performance, but the clothes wouldn’t be attractive on anyone. They’re typical “high fashion” uselessness and certainly do no favors for the beautiful women who performed. Especially the wimples.

  9. Cheryl says:

    This is a complete FOOK YOU to the black fashion folks who called him out and many other designers for ONLY using white models in every show. This is far from art, but a blatant middle finger to Bethanne Hardison, Iman and Naomi’s complaints about the lack of diversity on the runway. THIS is how he sees black women’s beauty?! Really!!!? We are not attractive to him, but a schtick for amusement. If you saw his last show before this one, his aesthetics were edgy modern that featured high end models in the industry. They were BONAFIDE MODELS, meaning model slim, model attractive and presented themselves in an editorial, model way. For this insulting show, he consciously did NOT choose high fashion models of colour, but instead chose folks he knew his fashion community would NEVER take seriously in his small, exclusive world. His fashion colleagues that highlighted his lack of colour in previous shows, just asked him and all designers to add women of colour when casting. I guess that was a ridiculous request because THIS is what he presented instead. Rick Owen, you should be ashamed of yourself. I hope you will take a moment to self analyze as to why you would be so mean, petty and hurtful. (NOTE: My comments have nothing to do with these normal sized women. They are beautiful, but they are NOT high fashion models. Not everyone can be a model and that’s OK. I don’t mean to insult these ladies, but know they were being USED and not celebrated.)

  10. Pingback: The Unexpected Rick Owens Spring/Summer 2014 Show | the CITIZENS of FASHION

  11. Anon says:

    It’s not about size or race or “prettiness”, it’s a statement about how bloody boring and conformist the industry’s casting has become, and I totally applaud Rick Owens for sticking two fingers up to conformity.

  12. Jadore says:

    Yeah they definitely dont get it…. Stop looking at the surface. I for one thought that this was very groundbreaking and unique. I’m glad that he made it so RAW… I would not buy HALF THE THINGS I SEE ON RUNWAYS PERIOD… But I definitely liked the way he chose to display his line. I saw a white lady running around in an outfit that look like those 99 cent plastic plaid bags…. Oh but that looks good on her tho?! That’s “fashion” right?! Yeah have a seat ppl.


  14. Helese TALKS says:

    Wow. To say that these women looked like rags on slaves is so demeaning. I loved the fierceness of what this show was trying to say…

    The fact that you uphold the industries standards to be the only ones that should exist says something about your lame mind, you don’t know that years ago curvy women were used to model clothes and that thin was not always in?

    The fact that you can be so superficial to classify clothes, a look, fashion, hair, as bad or good….well, that just says a lot about you.

    The fact that you are going to search google for good examples of…uh…why am I finishing this statement?

    I think that you all need to realize that beauty is not about pretty. They were definitely channeling the energy of the Goddess Kali to DESTROY all of these useless standards that some so called elite group said was the way you have to be in order to be “high fashion.” Kali you say? Yeah, look THAT up on Google.

  15. Helese TALKS says:

    P.S. I feel REALLY good about not graduating from college now. Your comment helped me nip that RIGHT in the bud, KayeLove, and anyone else who said they actually attended a school intended for higher learning…and still came with the comments you came with.

    Thank you!

  16. lala says:

    GET OVER YOURSELVES! The focus is not the damn stepping…its the fact that he is breaking boundries and opening people’s mind to a new way of perceiving beauty in the world of fashion. `’Clothes on slaves” Do you NOT follow fashion…almost all the fall collections have this style. Some of you need to have seat and education yourselves and stop thinking so one-dimensional. He’s opening the door! No skinny models and full of ethnic diversity.

  17. ECB says:

    The women In this show are wearing all the same clothes that women in the other shows we’re wearing- high fashion is designed to push boundaries not to appeal to everyone.

    On your average runway models are supposed to look fierce and condescending- because the clothes are supposed to make you feel strong and powerful and beautiful. Owens’ show takes this idea and makes it real- these women aren’t fierce because they think they’re better than you (like yr average skinny hungry model), the women here have a fierceness and a strength that is real and true in their bodies and in their movements. They literally embody and perform the feelings that the clothes are supposed to give you. They do something that the conventional standards of beauty (based on insecurity) and conventional fashion (which values style over what you can do and how you can move in the clothes) can never do, showing how pallid (literally and figuratively) the industry is. I love it.

  18. TopBananas says:

    I feel like I need to clarify myself. I only spoke on the stepping aspect of the show. I can’t speak to what Rick’s motives were as I don’t know him nor was I a part of the show. I’ve also never followed the various fashion week’s across the world so I would be ignorant to pretend I know about it. I have my idea of what the industry/culture is as my cousin has been a successful model for years. I am glad to see a show with majority AA women. Especially ones that appear to be normal people/body types vs. what has been fed to society for years. I just feel that knowing there could be some type of backlash to this show, I would think the execution would have been better. The fact that Rick isn’t AA means this thing has to go off without a hitch because folk will come at your throat as seen in the comments. Now i’m not saying only blacks can tell the story of blacks, or should have attempted something like this because usually an outside perspective can at times be the most honest one. But in my eyes too much was riding on this for myself and others to think that either the execution wasn’t all there or that it seemed like exploitation etc etc. I am just one opinion, and that opinion is that from the clips i’ve seen, it wasn’t that great to me. Maybe I missed the other 45 minutes that was the sh^t.

  19. Old hippie says:

    I am glad to see larger sized models, but these clothes (whether typical or not of Rick work) were awful, he could have done so much better

  20. that's how shauna sees it says:

    the models were not exactly selling the clothes sometimes off the wall does not work…