Interview magazine has presented an amazing conversation between Belgian designer Kris Van Assche and designer Rick Owens. Kris Van Assche graduated from the Royal Academy of Fine Arts in Antwerp in 1998, after which he famously interned for Hedi Slimane when he was designing for Yves Saint Laurent. Van Assche then followed Slimane two years later to Dior where Slimane had been made head of menswear, leaving in 2004 to start his own label. In 2007 Van Assche was enlisted to take the reigns at Dior Homme.
RICK OWENS: The last time we saw each other was at my club [Spotlight Club]. How did you like the show? [Owens had invited the drag queen Christeene.]
KRIS VAN ASSCHE: Usually when you get to see people’s private parts, it’s because you asked, right?
OWENS: My concern was that they would tone it down and be less extreme, so from the very first second they got onstage, I was—
VAN ASSCHE: They didn’t tone it down, did they?
OWENS: [laughs] So, now that I have you: Did you always want to be a designer?
VAN ASSCHE: Ever since I realized that clothes just don’t drop out of the closet and that somebody was deciding what I would actually wear. I must have been around 10 or 12 when I started questioning things like, Why should somebody else decide what I’m going to wear? And I’m an only child, and I was born in this small town.
OWENS: Did your parents dress you? Was that something you reacted to?
VAN ASSCHE: Yeah, of course. My parents are really nice, but they’re very conservative. They’re like the most normal people in the world. And they had one big definition for life, which was: “Don’t get noticed. Be normal, that’s weird enough.” And that just didn’t work for me.
OWENS: Your reaction to the conservative element wasn’t very angry. It was kind of quiet and elegant, if that’s a reaction.
VAN ASSCHE: I’ve never had this really violent reaction. I was quite unhappy, so that’s violent, but it was a silent violence.
OWENS: Why were you unhappy?
VAN ASSCHE: Because I really didn’t fit in. But then when I started going to the academy when I was 18, that’s the day I started living, because that’s when I started having a good time.
Read the rest if the interview here.