”Classic or Trash” is a recurring franchise highlighting a specific item and asking exactly that question: is it classic or trash? Granted, each member of the Grailed community is entitled to their own opinion, and while the Grailed editorial staff does its best to judge items objectively, we more than encourage you to disagree and sound off in the comments below.

Few designers are as consistent—or polarizing—as Rick Owens. Explosive quotes and runway antics aside, Owens has presented his grunge-meets-glamour aesthetic since the late ‘90s, and won thousands of devotees in the process. While most Owens disciples are steadfast in their devotion, a few Owens designs have transcended his goth army and entered the zeitgeist all on their own. While still firmly rooted in the Owens aesthetic, somehow these pieces—the Ramones sneaker, Stooges leather jacket, Berlin sweatpant—have wound up on everyone from Manchester City coach Pep Guardiola to Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey and even Virgil Abloh (whose aesthetic couldn’t be more different). Off all these crossover items though, few hold the appeal of the now infamous Rick Owens Creatch cargo pant.

Named after the Spring/Summer 2008 collection from which they originated, Rick Owens cargos have appeared in nearly ever Rick Owens menswear collection since, sometimes as part of the mainline but more often than not as part of the DRKSHDW diffusion label. While material and finish vary, the pant is essentially a straight-leg, slight drop-crotch trouser with an elasticated waist, adjoining circular velcro sash (a reference to Japanese sarouel pants) and oversized cargo pockets. Although the pant is as classic a Rick silhouette as you can get, the relaxed fit and and overall vibe superseded the Rick Owens cult. Without notice, over the past decade everyone from the #BEENTRILL# collective to Jordan stans started rocking Rick Cargos. Despite its near $800 price tag, the pant became synonymous with street culture, a far cry from Owens usual customer. Early Grailed users can attest to their popularity, a regular fixture in forums and street style galleries for years.

Yet, as menswear moves away from a relaxed, oversized aesthetic and we embrace a more colorful—and arguably traditional—wardrobe, the cargo feels a bit staid. The endless number of Travis Scott wannabees in Cactus Jack IVs and black ripstop cotton cargos have alienated the pant from its intended audience to such a degree that its often no longer clear they were a Rick Owens design in the first place. Given that Owens intended market is niche, and aesthetic is polarizing by design, being embraced by the hype community arguably defeats the purpose.

That said, the silhouette in earnest is one of the clearest examples of Owens genius. Minimalist yet simultaneously directional, the pants are as much of a statement as they are comfortable. Just tapered enough, the straight leg cut is one of the more flattering pant shapes out, and more designer should consider adopting it. Overall, the current hype will eventually subside, and Owens classic pant will be recognized as exactly that—a classic.

Disagree? Whether you think Rick Owens cargo pants are classic or trash, let us know in the comments below.

Tags: classic-or-trash, rick-owens-drkshdw, rick-owens