Rick Owens, nicknamed ‘The Lord of Darkness’, began his namesake brand in 1994. Ironically, Owens worked as a pattern cutter creating designer fakes before opening his label. In 2001, Owens expanded his brand, relocating to Italy. In 2002 he moved to Paris. The Rick Owens brand and its sublines give wearers a distinct, cutting-edge aesthetic, usually rendered in Owens’s favourite colour: the ever timeless black.
In this guide, we detail the product code system of the Rick Owens brand and highlight some helpful reference points so that you can ensure your Rick Owens grails are genuine. By referencing Rick Owens serial codes, one can use online resources to discover and reference the exact item online.
RICK OWENS PRODUCT CODE SYSTEM
The Rick Owens label uses a specific serial code system that denotes the year and season of production, and the sub-line to which the garment belongs. Finding discrepancies between the serial code and the product received is a surefire way of distinguishing a fake Rick Owens product from a genuine article. Moreover, one can use the rick Owens serial codes to find the exact product in question and cross-reference any differences.
Rick Owens has five mainlines and two diffusion lines in regular use; these can be identified using the letters at the beginning of every Rick Owens serial number.
TRUSS is currently working on a Rick Owens serial code checker.
PRE-2013 RICK OWENS PRODUCT CODE
Up until Rick Owens' Spring Summer 2014 collection ‘Vicious’, all lines followed a different serial code format to that which we see today. Before 2013, the first two letters denoting the line were followed by a space, a four-digit product code, a forward slash followed by two letters for the material, a space, and finally a four-digit colour code. An example would be RU 2754 /G 0009. RU denotes Mainline Mens (Rick Uomo), 2754 the product type, /G that it is 100% cotton and 0009 that the colour is black. In this case, we have a ‘Scorpio’ Tripple Zip Bomber Jacket from Spring Summer 2005. SOURCE: GROUPIENYC
‘Olmar and Mirta’ appears on most pre-2013 Rick Owens tags, a family-run factory where production was based before it was moved to Moldova. After the move, the product code changed. There is no way to decipher the year of release by using pre-2013 tags.
2013 RICK OWENS SERIAL CODES
From 2013 onwards the product code system changed, and it became much easier to identify the year and season. RU and RR are used for Mainline Mens and Mainline Runway Mens respectively, as are RP and RO for Womenswear. RF is for Mainline Forever, these forever garments are often available all year round and are timeless Rick Owens designs that don’t change seasonally.
DU and DS refer to the DRKSHDW Mens and DRKSHDW Women's lines respectively. U is used for DRKSHDW footwear, often visible on the tongue or boot zip area. Other notable codes include HU for Michelle Lammy’s jewellery line titled ‘Hunrod’, and LI for the womenswear line ‘Lilies’. For Rick Owens DRKSHDW, you’ll find a Rick Owens portrait label, sometimes accompanied by a slimmer black DRKSHDW or DS woven label.
The format for post-2013 serial code is as follows: The first two letters tell you the line followed by two numbers which tell you the year. Then there will be an S for Spring Summer or an F for Autumn Winter (Fall). This is followed by the product code, a hyphen, and the material code, and finally the colour code. An example would be RP15S5713-LGI 09, which is a ‘Faun’ Back Zip Leather Jacket from the Mainline Womenswear Spring Summer 2015 collection. The material is glass ice lambskin and the colour black.
WHERE TO BUY AUTHENTIC RICK OWENS?
Ebay, Depop, and Vinted all carry risks when using their platforms for buying designer items, as a general rule, if the price seems too good to be true then it likely is. Rick Owens found on Panda Buy, Taobao and Alibaba are almost certainly fake and these platforms should be avoided. Popular pieces such as the Rick Owens ‘Ramones’ sneakers are the most faked, details such as the wrong sole unit for the line, or uneven stitching are visual identifiers for fakes of this silhouette. To find genuine Rick Owens, we recommend searching on TRUSS, Vestiaire, or Grailed. Due to the complexity of the cuts, Rick Owens is rarely faked and through referencing the typography of the tag and assesing the overall quality of the garment, spotting fake Rick tends to be easy.