Emerging from the realms of anonymity, R13’s designer Chris Leba takes credit for putting the brand’s urban-grunge aesthetic on the street-chic map. Launched in 2009, the label leaves their storyline to be defined by their cool-girl denim styles rather than the reputation of their once-Senior VP of Ralf Lauren (an elusive trick used in the past by industry giant Margiela, pre-Galliano).
Found only at top retailers, just a handful of fashion fiends were in the know about the creative director’s impressive resume. Channeling the ‘90s era when Kurt Cobain reigned supreme, R13 has quickly risen in the ranks thanks to the clothing's sense of authenticity and electric energy. When probed on his influences, Leba references his younger years saying, "In the '80s and the '90s, I was really young and I was soaking everything in. It always stays with me, that feeling and sensibility, and it's also sort of timeless. Punk and grunge in different ways still exist in our culture."
Moving beyond just jeans, Leba has built R13—a sister brand of now-absorbed NLST—into a refuge for perfectly deconstructed denim dusters, hoodie-meets-bomber jacket hybrids, fashionable sweat suits and, of course, staple flannels. While rooted in the era of grunge, the brand forms their luxe interpretations with Italian-produced and pure indigo-cast textiles to embody their punk-rock personality.
Images courtesy of R13.