R13 RTW Spring 2023

R13 RTW Spring 2023

Chris Leba’s key to R13’s continually cool ethos is consistency. “We do that on purpose,” the designer said at a cocktail party preview of his latest lineup. “That’s how you establish what a brand stands for, especially if the customer wants it.”

The designer said he recalls his days working at Ralph Lauren — plucking out classic silhouettes and giving them the R13 twisted, angsty attitude. “My whole thing is — I use the word ‘irreverent’ a lot, but it’s really taking something and turning it on its head,” he said of the brand, evident through the lineup’s mash-up of new takes on R13 staples: Japanese overdyed flannels and button-downs, grungy knits and novelty graphic T-shirts, loads of denim and a smidge of tailoring (à la skate-inspired wide-cut shorts and two reworked blazers). 

For spring, the designer tapped into skate culture (although noting he’s not a skater) to give casual silhouettes an extra oomph in lighter hues (including hot and baby pink) than his recent seasons. “They’re based on a lot of movement — the skaters wear big, baggy stuff.”

The look: Slouchy, casual skate meets R13 signatures.

Quote of note: “We box ourselves into the icons and try to do something fresh with it — of course, they’re all based on the icons not because of their status but because it’s what you wear — we’re really playing homage to how significant it is,” the designer said of spring’s myriad footwear — luxe leather riffs of very familiar skate and street brands’ boots and sneakers — which could also be said of a majority of the ready-to-wear.”

Key pieces: Double-bib overalls (which were also cut off into cropped bib layers); new takes on the brand’s signature Japanese overdyed and spray-painted flannels in the forms of shirting, dresses and an overall; elongated ripped tank tops; a tie-dye cardigan (noted to be printed, for consistency); slouchy light-wash and bleached denim; vintage-inspired logo Ts and hoodies (with riffs on the iconic Vans checkerboard motif); sticker-covered R13 skate decks.

The takeaway: “Flipping the narrative” on silhouettes — even the most casual — continued to work well for the R13 label.

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