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This is Michèle Lamy, the woman with the inked hands

The talented and iconic woman behind the success of Rick Owens

 This is Michèle Lamy, the woman with the inked hands The talented and iconic woman behind the success of Rick Owens

On Instagram has over 19.7 thousand followers, but who knows how many of them really know it. We are talking about Michèle Lamy, the woman with her hands covered in ink, the gold-plated teeth and the sphinx look that we often see appearing in street style shots and in fashion magazines. Many will know that she is a wife, muse and partner of Rick Owens. Everything else tells you nss. Because Lamy is an elusive, mysterious and magnetic character that is impossible to ignore.


Her background is a tangle of reality and mythology

Difficult to distinguish what is or is not true.It is said that she comes from a family of Gypsies of Algerian origin, that the grandfather made accessories for Paul Poiret and was born in Jura, a small region of eastern France, but nobody knows in which year (someone speculates 1944). She studied law and, after a few years of practicing as a defense lawyer, left the law to become a cabaret dancer and then move to America. Here she gave birth to her daughter Scarlett Rouge, now an esoteric artist, and, in the early 90s, opened the Café des Artistes restaurant and the Les Deux Cafés club. The latter, called this way because it occupies a public parking lot for Hollywood Boulevard, soon becomes the epicenter of the coolest Los Angeles counterculture, where Madonna, Joni Mitchell, Sharon Stone, David Lynch, Marilyn Manson, Brett Easton Ellis and Chloë Sevigny meet and often perform. At the same time, Michèle founds Lamy, her line of clothes and accessories that, little by little, after the woman takes on a talented designer, a certain Rick Owens, and falls in love with it, changing its name into one of the most famous brands at world. The rest is history.


Michèle and Rick Owens are twin souls

"We complement each other so well that our relationship. It’s kind of like asking a fascist and a gypsy to organise a war together.”

Owens once said, using a risky metaphor, talking about his beloved wife who also describes as "a mesmerising sphinx" compared to which he is a boring and conservative type. The two meet for the first time in 1990, in Los Angeles when Michèle is looking for a pattern maker for her company. Rick introduces himself to the job interview with a bandana with skulls a slightly Mex-Tex look, she finds it interesting and assumes it. One evening, Lamy, who will then tell the story in an interview, is in Paris and hears a knock on her door. Opens and stands in front of there was Rick Owens, drunk who says:

"I have a crush on you and you have a crush on me!".

Thus begins a love story that has lasted for almost thirty years. 

Lamy has a multifaceted talent.

Someone thinks she's a witch. Maybe. Certainly it is not just the bride, muse and inspiration of Rick Owens. Lamy is a woman of a thousand talents. There is that for design. Her aesthetic vision behind the Owens furniture line, behind the brutalist marble chairs, the steel benches or the cushions covered with textured camel hairs. There is love for art. Each of her projects challenges conventions and jumps freely between different worlds: from installations on board Bargel and Bargennale barges during Frieze London and the Venice Biennale to the melting pot restaurants; from multimedia installations to jewelery created with Loree Rodkin up to Lamyland x Selfridges, corner shop in the London department store dedicated to art and boxe.

There is a passion for music. Michèle has always loved to perform live and sing the verses of the '20s poet Langston Hughes in her hoarse voice. She does so with LAVASCAR, a band composed of her, daughter Scarlette Rouge and artist Nico Vascellari and did it for The Road: Part II/Lost Highway, the new album by UNKLE, the project by James Lavelle, which will be released on 29 March. She even shared the stage with A$AP Rocky for a performance during Art Basel Miami. 


Everyone loves her


There is something absolutely magnetic about Michèle Lamy, which attracts. And we not talking about only of the image. It is a je ne sais quoi that she emanates. It is something in her way of doing things, in her nature, that seems to be very sunny and positive in spite of the dark look. Maybe that's why everyone loves her, they look for her, they want to collaborate with her or just spend time. Nobody knows how to resist her: from Courtney Love (one of the first to believe in Owens' talent and to wear her creations) to her daughter Frances Bean Cobain, A$AP Rocky to Kanye West, Nicki Minaj to Iris Apfel, her protege Gareth Pugh a FKA twigs that wanted Lamy in the aquatic creature version as a protagonist of the video of Figure 8, contained in M3LL155X.



Michèle Lamy is the ultimate real eccentric of the fashion world

Her style is so unique that it is almost impossible not to notice her. Even in that extravagance land that may be the fashion week. Her is a complex aesthetic that has found the perfect key in the nomadic culture: minute and nervous physique (often exalted by the clothes of Owens), olive complexion, magnetic blue eyes framed by the Egyptian sphinx makeup, teeth encrusted with gold and diamonds, fingers stained black thanks to a Japanese vegetable dye and covered with a string of amulet rings, a vertical line painted on the forehead (as she revealed herself is a symbol that keeps me rooted on the ground).

Michèle is a pagan goddess who hypnotizes and intrigues anyone who crosses her gaze. When asked about the origins of her style she told:

"I got absolutely seduced by the Berbers, who are an ethnic group indigenous to North Africa, during my first trip there. I was so mesmerised by the tattoos they had on their faces […] Teeth? Happened in L.A., where I found this artist that was a newage type who convinced me to put gold on them. [...] This is my personal evolution."


Cover by Shezi Manezi