Style Michèle Lamy, the anti-muse par excellence

Michèle Lamy, the anti-muse par excellence

Andrea Tuzio

A passionate and earthly beauty and at the same time divine and ethereal, almost a living representation of Persephone, wife of Hades and daughter of Demeter and Zeus.
Michèle Lamy, wife, muse and accomplice of the American designer Rick Owens, is a 76-year-old woman who never stops being what she is, a constant source of inspiration for entire generations linked to fashion and art and with a formidable curiosity towards every artistic form.

Michèle was born in France, in the Jura, in 1944 from an Algerian family with a background in fashion, her grandfather made accessories for Paul Poiret, one of the most famous French designers.

Michèle studied law and worked as a lawyer at the turn of the 60s and 70s while studying the work of Gilles Deleuze, a post-structuralist philosopher, and participated in the French May protests in 1968. 

The winds of change and the influences of the historical context influenced the choices of Michèle who left the bar and started working as a cabaret dancer, toured France before moving to the United States in 1979.

She arrives in New York but then settles in Los Angeles where she gives vent to her inexhaustible energy: she founds her own brand, manages two iconic night clubs such as the Café des Artistes and Les Deux Café, becoming an emblematic figure of Los Angeles nightlife, and marries her first husband, the experimental director Richard Newton.

Gold teeth, pirate piercings, rings, which he says “are the first things I wear in the morning, even before making a cup of tea. The only time I take them off during the day is in the gym” and those tattoos on my fingers inspired by the Berbers of North Africa, an area he visited when he was 17 years old, are his trademark.

In 1990 she founded a new clothing line, Lamy, and hired what would become her business partner, partner and husband Rick Owens.

Michèle spends most of the year traveling around the various art fairs around the world with her collaborators and friends, she has participated in art projects presented at the Frieze, the Barbican Centre in London and Art Basel Hong Kong as well as playing together with UNKLE e ASAP Rocky on a boat at the Venice Biennale

Lawyer, stripper, priestess, musician, diviner, shaman and designer, Michèle Lamy is all these things together. Within Owenscorp, a company founded together with her husband Rick Owens, she plays a role that could be defined as team leader, instigator and director of the various special projects that are carried out, working side by side with the craftsmen who design and build Owenscorp’s furniture, household items and jewelry.

Regularly wrapped by her husband Rick’s creations and adorned with her HUNROD and Loree Rodkin, Michèle has a huge archive of COMME des GARÇONS dresses: “I feel beautiful when I wear COMME. For me, those clothes are art, and when I wear them, I get deep into art itself”.

A unique, engaging, histrionic, indefinable and eccentric character, at over 75 years of age she continues undeterred to be a volcano of innovation, a point of reference for the younger generations and an iconoclast of the fashion world.

Written by Andrea Tuzio
Listen on