RTA is in a transitional period right now. Former creative director Eli Azran is no longer with the company, and the business is looking to appeal to a more global audience. Goodbye to the edgy L.A. rocker aesthetic that’s defined the brands for years. At the show, CEO David Rimokh said they’re aiming to sit squarely in the luxury space as opposed to contemporary: more expensive, and more European in outlook.
The women’s collection was inspired by a trip to Portugal, and more specifically the country’s tiles, whose patterns were reimagined as prints on mesh tops and silk boxer shorts with matching shirts. The most technically impressive was a crochet cardigan, skirt, and bralette. Leather corsets and skirts, a T-shirt with a transparent corset at the bottom, and clingy dresses retained the brand’s DNA from seasons past.
The men’s collection was more jarringly different, or rather it made an effort to communicate that a change was coming. Rimokh said that while the woman of the season was jetting to Europe, the RTA man was busy rebuilding. To set the tone, one of the shirts had a graphic of a destroyed memo addressed to “the general public/global citizens/department of consumption.” The subject line was “the beginning is near” and the body text read “The Road to Awe [RTA] is undergoing a serious change in” and then black redacted sharpie lines. This message felt like gilding the lily compared to the more subtle and interesting ways the brand conveyed change and construction: acid wash jeans with sandy-colored patches, a Mad Max color palette, and, most impressively, a two-layer white tank top with a grid of holes like cigarette burns. The separation between the edgy, Los Angeles-cool RTA of the past and the “new” RTA is not yet complete, but, as the graphic tee also said, “sometimes to move forward, you must take time to look back.”