Rick Owens Model Displays "Kill Angela Merkel" Sign The Designer Never Approved To Be At His Show

For any fashionistas out there, the name Rick Owens tends to come with some sort of controversial association. Whether it's the extremely body positive Spring 2014 show that featured step dancers as models, or the more scandalous full-frontal nudity in last season's Paris Fashion Week, Owens takes the opportunity to shock the audience. But in Thursday's showing of his Spring Summer 2016 collection,a model at the Rick Owens show held a controversial sign that once again sparked scandal.

The model unfolded a small sign that protested German Chancellor Angela Merkel in a strangely polite way. "Please Kill Angela Merkel—NOT," the sign read. Confusing, right? And given Owens' history of making strong statements on the runway, it wouldn't be surprising if the designer was responsible for the sign. But Owens took to WWD to not only release an official statement that the designer was in no way behind the sign, but also wanted to note that Owens himself reacted strongly towards the model.

“It’s a crazy, rogue, f***ing model that I punched when he came back out,” Owens said to WWD. “Please say that I punched him.” OK, we all get it. You punched him.


Though Rick Owens wasn't responsible for the latest runway political statement, many other designers have purposefully used the catwalk as a platform to say what's on their minds. It's not a bad way to get your point across.



The timelessly chic brand's Spring/Summer 2015 campaign, which featured the likes of Cara Delevingne and Kendall Jenner, was one of the loudest, feminist messages seen on the runway. Chanel put on a faux-protest that featured signs like "History is Her Story" and "Women's Rights are More Than Alright." You go, Chanel!

Walter Van Beirendonck


The menswear designer made a powerful message his Autumn/Winter '15 Paris show, just weeks after the Charlie Hebdo attacks. Models wore clear, plastic tops that shared strong, political messages in response to the attacks, as well as on the subject of beauty standards. The most powerful message simply stated, "Stop Terrorising Our World."

Vivienne Westwood


Like Rick Owens, Vivienne Westwood is known to take risks on the runway that's much more than amazing clothes. In her September show in London, Westwood accessorized each of her looks with a "Yes" pin, symbolizing Westwood's support for Scotland's secession. If this isn't a satement-making look, I don't know what is.

Images: Getty Images (4)