Style Heroine

Michele Lamy wears Crocs, let's just start with that. She also studied to be a defense attorney -- but found herself still surrounded by the bourgeois and provincial people that defined her upbringing, and quickly dropped out to become a stripper, dancing strip teases at the county fair. Then, when that got dull, she headed back to academics and became protege of the late philosopher Gilles Deleuze. Then somewhere between LA and Paris, sportswear companies and hip restaurants, she met and seemingly heterosexualized Rick Owens. Michele Lamy enjoys the title partner, muse and collaborator of Rick Owens, the subversive American fashion designer. She met the designer when he deigned to get a pattern-making position at her sportswear company. They were introduced by Owens' then boyfriend, and although he provides no details of their meeting, Owens describes, "I worked for her for two years, but I could never really understand her because she has a really thick French accent. Then it just kind of happened and I really can't imagine having a relationship with anyone else. It's been almost fifteen years. God, who knows what that would be in fag years?" [caption id="attachment_7188" align="aligncenter" width="386" caption="Rick & Michele"][/caption] [caption id="attachment_7237" align="aligncenter" width="299" caption="Gareth Pugh & Michele Lamy"][/caption] [caption id="attachment_7213" align="aligncenter" width="333" caption="Get casual"][/caption] She began her career in a serious manner, taking on the task of being a defense attorney. Tired of the law she moved on to philosophy, and then onto the sportswear company at which she met her match. She switched yet again and became a successful restauranteur and somewhere in between she owned one of the hippest clubs in LA in the early '90s. She has a thick French accent, draws that line on her forehead every morning to keep her grounded and uses matte black Japanese vegetable dye to stain her fingers regularly. She has been the inspiration and support behind Owens' lifetime of work and can we just comment on how perfect this May//December relationship is? Perfect. [caption id="attachment_7202" align="aligncenter" width="400" caption="The happy couple of 15 years"][/caption] Michele grew up in the midst of the French Resistance after her family left Algeria. After giving up on the French judicial system, she ran around the gutter for a few years -- participating in protests and generally enjoying the slum. She then went to live in the sun, abandoning France for Southern California and marrying the movie producer Richard Newton. By the time her relationship ended with him she was already in her 40s. She somehow takes to change like a bird to water, and replaced marriage with business -- and found great success. And a new boy toy -- Rick Owens. She's helped him grow and thrive creatively, even moving with him back to Paris in 2002 to realize his wildest retail dreams. She's this magical gypsy creature, and someone you just really want on your side, so it really is no wonder she's been able to slip in and out of different roles constantly throughout her life. [/caption] Our favorite part of researching? This.