RTA has a new creative director. Robert Liptak—an alum of Rick Owens, Anthony Vacarello, Saint Laurent, and, most recently, Tom Ford—is charged with refreshing the line best known until now for denim, leather, and a slinky, sexy outlook. He plans to “elevate the brand,” by focusing on all categories for men and women and holding on to his “three pillars: sexy, playful, and mysterious.”
For men, he was inspired by Las Vegas, or rather, the idea of it, as he had not visited Sin City before designing the collection. However, its reputation, along with movies like Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas and Fight Club, provided more than enough creative fodder. The man of the season is bombastic, choosing crisp nylon pants with roomy legs and velcro straps at the ankles; camp shirts printed with poker chips; tuxedo shirts in salmon pink and black; and a white embroidered leather jacket depicting, among other things, a cowgirl pinup and a martini glass. Psychedelic waves featured throughout the collection on an interesting velvet-denim fabric that over time will patina to reveal more of the indigo beneath. You may meet this guy at a club, at a much-hyped restaurant with Dom Perignon on the menu, or peacocking during the men’s shows. In other words, he wants to be seen.
For womenswear, RTA has historically worked with dark color palettes, short hemlines, and skin-baring cutouts. Any customers loyal to that will be pleased with pre-fall 2023. Liptak leaned in harder into the edgy, girl-on-the-town aesthetic, making it more editorial in the process. Looking at the clothes, Liptak’s resume is apparent. The first look—a black handkerchief hem mini dress with a cutout at the bust, worn with fingerless leather gloves—wouldn’t be a surprise on Owens, Ford, or Vacarello’s runways. Ditto the hooded camel dress that closed the collection. But then why would you hire a designer with experience at some of the world’s most highly sought after labels if not to hope that some of that magic rubs off on your own?
The ensemble Liptak called out a preview was indeed one of the most interesting and fresh for RTA. A blue jersey draped skirt paired with a matching top with tiers of ruching and fluttering sleeves hit those three pillars he strives for—sexy, playful, mysterious—while pushing the label’s brand identity forward into fresh, elevated territory. Hopefully there’s more of that to come.