Fashion designer Rick Owens is a largely private individual, and based on the highly curated, minimalist aesthetic of his Venice home, it’s clear that it’s because he holds his personal space to be so sacred. “I needed to create a space that was severe and avoided any kind of sentimentality or attachments, a blank slate to completely obliterate, to concentrate on listening to what I really want,” he says in the new issue of MR PORTER. “Living in clutter and chaos and things that are half-done or that are half-hearted, I think, can allow you to be a little bit too relaxed. I can’t be relaxed.”
Owens’s home, which he previously described to Architectural Digest as “severe and chilly,” features a color palette of whites and earthy, neutral tones, as well as an array of unusual, severe features; the shower in one of the bedrooms features a silver shower head jutting out of the wall, two small knobs, and a waist-height second removable shower head – no glass enclosure or tub in sight. According to Owens, every element of the Venice home has been designed with intention – including, yes, the shower.
“After you’ve showered and brushed your teeth in a marble cube, you’re going to aspire to something a little higher,” he claims. “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.”
Owens considers his vision for the home to be one of “severe formality,” a good contrast to his home in Paris, which he told AD last year is “more relaxed.” With his Venice space, however, he feels that isolation and “a little tinge of melancholy” hang over the city and therefore, those themes have been integrated into the design. “Death, mortality and utopia,” Owens tells MR PORTER. “All my great themes.”