The Balancing Act
May 19 2022
Ordinary relationships are an already interesting concept; the idea of sharing an everyday life is a fascinating self-imposed construct that people routinely find themselves in. Finding someone to love and be loved by isn’t tricky when seeking a short-term fix, but how we find people with permanence is many times reduced to the stars. Some couples can survive on traditional love, and others sustain their unions by building empires. So we’re going past the ordinary office romances and discussing two industry-leading duos sharing the head seat at the table for couples' sake.
Michele Lamy and Rick Owens have been fashion's mystery love for nearly two decades, and their temperaments couldn't be more polarizing. Nevertheless, we will refrain from diluting Lamy's mastery by reducing her as Owens's muse alone. The Owens (we think) we know couldn't possibly spend a life dealing with someone only as a beautiful object. No, Lamy is a force equal to Owens, deserving as much applause under the namesake line.
They began as an affair staged at Lamy’s then line Too Soon To Know, where Owens was hired as a pattern-maker. Yes, there was a time when Owens worked under Lamy. She has a whole past, present, and future of entrepreneurship that would surprise many of us. The quintessential eccentric was once even a lawyer and restaurateur, but we digress. Lamy was married, and Owens was in a relationship, but as Lamy elaborated in 2014 with Sorbet Magazine, 'there is no personal life; it's all the same life.' The two quickly married and moved on. "We are not together to make babies or these kinds of babies," said Lamy.
While both are gifted visionaries from different backgrounds, Owens is a recluse, and Lamy is always on the move. Still, the element of understanding combined with a solid apparitional pull allows their one life total fluidity. Their love offers something of a different dimension, but when one cannot live in this world, one must build the next together in hand, whether or not they are both fire or air. Everything Owens envisions, Lamy exploits (positively). They allow each other the space to live and experience in all the ways necessary so that they may come together and co-create exceptionally.
Enters Luke and Lucie Meier, the husband and wife duo, doubling as Jil Sander's co-creative directors since 2017. In a New York Times piece published in 2021, the two were painted as an almost too-perfect pairing. "For us, it's about purity, not minimalism," shared Luke in The Designer Couple Revitalizing Jil Sander.
Pouring from the same beaker to the same cup, the premise of Luke and Lucie (even with the names) is their mutual ambition of showing Jil Sander's lighter yet more expressive side. Meeting at Florence's Polimoda fashion school first as roommates, the two have always been aligned, even when working for different brands. While the most significant difference between the two is their techniques, as Lucie was more haute couture, and Luke traveled the Supreme world. Still, their process was the same.
Now staged at Jil Sander, Luke and Lucie have transformed their environment into a space for honesty without fear of disagreement. There is an overly harmonious component to this pairing, all due to the mutual respect for each other. As cliche as it is, they are the finishing each other's sentence type, which makes one question if there is such thing as too much time together; in their case, no. Their experiences together and apart have led to exquisite calibration and compelling collections. They are not seeing each other's vision but instead have the same, and in a rather divine way, are the perfect pair to co-creative direct under the eponymous German label.
Building an empire is not an easy feat, but creating one with a significant other is even more of a task. Though not a case of total opposites, but rather extremes, you've either got to be affectionately mislabeled as each other's muses or precisely the same. As Lamy expressed, whoever one might be accompanied within this balancing act, it is one shared life, through and through– taking mutual respect, admiration, and trust. At times they may find themselves putting aspects of their intimacy on hold to execute a vision, while in other instances, the familiarity may be more robust. But the common theme seems to be that to work successfully with a life partner means that you share a visual love language; the love language and act less spoken about.
Text by Shahrnaz Javid