If any model defined the ’90s scene, it was Kirsten Owen. The statuesque English blonde was a favorite of seminal ’90s designers like Helmut Lang, Ann Demulemeester, Jil Sander, and Miuccia Prada. With her austere look and carefree demeanor, Owen exemplified the mood of the era and provided a refreshing change of pace from the glamazons who preceded her. For the insiders and photographers who adored her, Owen represented a uncompromising new kind of beauty, one that mirrored the cultural shift from decadent excess to the pared down look of grunge and minimalism.
Over time Owen’s work and her look have become iconic. The current generation looks to those groundbreaking Vogue Italia covers for inspiration, her Versace campaigns and work with Paolo Roversi have served to influence countless stories, and even the current taste for severe, challenging models can be traced back to Owen and her ilk. It’s fitting, then, that at 45 this most memorable of models is enjoying a well deserved career renaissance. New work for Vogue Italia, Love, and Self Service showcase a woman in top form, and reunions with frequent collaborators like Steven Meisel have gleaned a whole new series of unforgettable campaign imagery. Is it any wonder then that Owen is the latest addition to MDC’s Industry Icons List and the subject of this MDX Icons special?
Photography and film by Dario Catellani (New York: ArtList NY, Paris: ArtList Paris)
Stylist Vittoria Cerciello
Hair Marki Shkreli at Tim Howard Management
Make up Justine Purdue at Tim Howard management
Set Designer Josephine Shokrian
Director of photography: Ryan McCally; photo assistant: Emilio Hernandez; stylist assistant: Caitlyn Leary; sound design: Eric Nagy; light designer: Brian Hahn; digital tech: Andrew Lawrence; produced by Amanda Jones at Artlist NY