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Moncler and Rick Owens Made a Tour Bus (and a Sleeveless Puffer Jacket)

Italian winter-sports label Moncler has collaborated with practically everyone cool, often under its Genius imprint, to transform their luxury puffer apparel into sculptural, down-filled meditations on the nature of warmth, romance, and protection. With Moncler’s show coming up in Milan on Wednesday, one wonders: What one-armed sleeping bag will they offer the world next?

Today we get an answer. This season brings a collaboration with Rick Owens, who, in true Owensian style, took the partnership in a new and alien direction. As in: a land-art road tour with partner Michèle Lamy—in a customized Moncler bus—that took them through Area 51 to one of the most guarded works of land art in the inaccessible and still wild American west. Artist Michael Heizer invited the pair to visit his Nevada ranch, Owens states in a press release, where he has spent nearly half a century working on City, a fabled work of land art that combines ancient monument structures with industrial design and natural materials. It has been closed to the public since Heizer first began the project in 1972—only a few photographs exist online—and after a delay of nearly a decade, it is scheduled to open this year (at least according to a 2016 New Yorker story).

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Courtesy of Moncler and Rick Owens

“I WAS KIND OF THINKING ABOUT JOSEPH BEUYS TRAVELING TO THE U.S. FROM GERMANY IN THE SEVENTIES, LANDING AT JFK, BEING WRAPPED IN FELT AND TAKEN BY AMBULANCE TO HIS N.Y. GALLERY TO LIVE WITH A WILD COYOTE FOR THREE DAYS IN HIS INSTALLATION I LIKE AMERICA AND AMERICA LIKES ME,” Owens, who writes exclusively in capitals, explains in the press release. This is not some kind of Owens mythologizing: A felt-encased Beuys really did live with a coyote for three days in René Block Gallery, exploring the gap between indigenous peoples and the imperial European forces that displaced them.

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Courtesy of Moncler and Rick Owens

Owens and Lamy traveled from LAX to Heizer’s ranch, with stops in Las Vegas and Area 51, and took a “detour” to Double Negative, Heizer’s 1969 work that displaced 240,000 tons of desert sandstone from Nevada’s Mormon Mesa to create a manmade canyon at the mouth of a natural one. The Moncler campaign includes several images from the road trip, including some terrific snapshots under some extraterrestrial cartoon murals; and the bus will be on view at Moncler’s presentation in Milan on Wednesday—along with a few pieces of clothing, like a wild sleeveless puffer, that Moncler made for Lamy and Owens to wear on the trip. Presumably, it’s coyote-proof, at least in concept.

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Courtesy of Moncler and Rick Owens

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