The specifics may change, but the four themes stay the same.READ MORE
If you happen to know Rene Holguin, passing through his shop’s screen door on L.A.’s La Cienega Boulevard is a bit like entering his (not-un-Wonka-like) world. Otherwise, the store—which houses his line, RTH, alongside other pieces that speak the same language, all co-mingling with the place’s leathery aroma—might seem to come out of nowhere. It has a certain ultra-chic outpost vibe, with infinite hard-to-place global references and lots of preppy notes that make no sense until they do.
Rene grew up in El Paso, Texas, learning the ins and outs of leather from his father, who owned Laramie Boot Co. that today handles the initial production of RTH leather pieces. From an early age, Rene was drawn to fashion—or, more distinctly, style as self-expression: “All through high school, all I ever wanted to do was to live in New
York, and all I wanted to wear was Polo—I was fascinated with Ralph Lauren,” Rene explains. His R.L. compulsion led him to a job with the company, which later led to gigs at J. Crew, Club Monaco, Gap, Lucky Brand, and Levi’s. Through his years spent working with and evolving brand after brand, he grew tired of the sameness of everything he saw, which, naturally, led to creating something new. “Everybody’s carrying the same product; everyone’s touting the same look. I would get a lot of people asking me, ‘Where’s that bag from?’ or, ‘Where’s that kilt from?’” he recalls. “I think that no matter where you go, people are attracted to something that is individual.” —erica