“This collection, strangely to me, felt like the very first collection, just in the simplicity and lack of theme,” Chris Leba said of the season’s reset. “It was about the clothes and how it was pulled together.” After months of uncertainty, including whether or not the brand was going to make it through lockdown, Leba is focusing his attention back on items that speak to the brand ethos and really standing behind them.
He looked to his archive as a starting point, pulling out silhouettes or patterns that only lasted for a season or two, like the structured shoulders he developed and placed this season into T-shirts, moto jackets and a variety of blazers so sharp you’d think the shoulders could cut you. “That to me is something we spend a lot of time on and I felt was a true creative expression for the brand because we create those from scratch,” he added. “Let’s make it valuable by staying with it.”
He created tension in a very R13 way by balancing volume with short proportions or deconstruction, as in boyish blazers with micro shorts and cropped T-shirts with baggy jeans slung low to intentionally reveal the waistbands of tights underneath. He offered a variety of shorts — long, micro, ripped, in drapey Japanese denim or sweatpant materials. His take on the current loungewear trend included sweatpants that were dyed or shredded and paired with ultracool cowboy boots from spring 2018 that featured contrast draped fabric for the appearance of baggy pant hems.
“I think for us as a brand to get clarity of who we are, what we stand for, what’s important to us has been a great silver lining,” he concluded. “As we come out of this, we’ll be a better company.”