Interview with Eli Azran and David Rimokh of RtA
Intro by Pablo Starr
Perfection is, as they say, more of a journey than a destination. RtA (or Road to Awe) is just such a journey, summoned wholly by intention: an undertaking by three friends, Eli Azran, David Rimokh, and Evelyn Ungari, committed to a process of constant improvement.
The collection itself has an almost ikebana-like philosophy. It’s not so much one single “thing they do,” but a desire to achieve an overall effect.
In this case, the desired outcome is a woman who feels comfortable in her own skin. And more than comfortable: sexy, confident, and perhaps just a little dangerous.
Countdown to Ecstasy
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Photos: Craig Barritt/WME IMG Collection
Show credits: Hair provided by Linh Nguyen for Cutler, makeup provided by Marc Reagan for Bobbi Brown, and nails provided by Momo Quinn.
Interview by Kyleigh McCollam
The palette for this season’s RtA was made up of “liquid black, used blue, chalk, and wine, accented with chain mail, skins, fox, raccoon, and lamb that sit alongside oversized jean jackets and sweatshirts.”
Kyleigh caught up with Eli Azran and David Rimokh at the show to find out more about the new collection, and what makes the partnership tick.
Q: What’s the inspiration behind this collection, and where do you go to get inspired?
Eli: We’re fortunate to live in LA, the birthplace of jeans, leather jackets, and t-shirts. You don’t have to go very far for that. So as far as inspiration is concerned, I would say it’s a daily thing. We’re lucky enough to live in the capital of that look.
David: The brand is all about effortless chic. Items in a girl’s everyday wardrobe. T-shirt, jeans, denim. Biker jackets, cashmere.
The brand is all about effortless chic.
Eli: Everyone kind of aspires for the “off-duty model” look, but how do you translate that to normal people?
Q: How do you do it?
Eli: It’s art. It’s a lot of work.
David: There’s a whole magic to it. Yes, it’s a lot work. It’s making sure we get things right.
Eli: Usually the simplest things in life are the most challenging to get good at.
Q: Like in, say, cooking. Sometimes it’s the balance …
David: Yes. It’s like making a cake. Any wrong ingredient can mess it all up.
Eli: One of the things we say in the office is that it’s like a race car. You can have the best race car in the world, and like 99.9% of it is perfect. And there’s one screw that’s loose, and it explodes. So we always have to work together and be very on point.
That’s what RtA (Road to Awe) stands for. A constant journey to better yourself. So every season we’re getting better, improving ourselves, and we’re adding more.
David: Sometimes common sense isn’t so common.
Q: What are some of your favorite silhouettes you incorporate into each collection?
Eli: We always have a lot of higher wasted stuff, a little slouchy. There’s not a specific thing that we do. It’s more of an understanding and an idea of like look, “Your girl needs to feel this way. And feeling cool is better than looking pretty. Because a cool girl will always have that aura about her that you can’t describe.”
David: Nine times out of 10, if a girl feels cool, she is cool.
If a girl feels cool, she is cool.
Eli: Evelyn, who you met, is our “cool girl” test. We’ll say, “What do you think, Evelyn?” And if she says yes, we’re good to go. Or, “No, I hate it.”
Evelyn is our “cool girl” test.
David: She’s our muse.
Q: So it’s pretty much how you feel inside versus what you look like?
David: It’s that confidence.
Q: How do you feel your brand has evolved since you first began?
Eli: It’s a crazy thing, because when we first started the brand we used a lot of denim and a lot of leather, because those two mediums are kind of endless. You can do anything with jeans, and you can do anything with leather. So the evolution has been opening up categories, taking the jeans and adding things that complement the look.
That fur jacket that you’re going to wear with that cashmere sweater, those leather pants. Those are key magic words for girls. We have a men’s line as well, that we just launched at Barneys, and it’s really so different.
Everyone’s always asking me, what’s the difference between men and women’s, and for me, men’s is reality, women’s is fantasy. With women’s there are no boundaries.
Men’s is reality, women’s is fantasy.
Q: What is the best part of being a fashion designer? What do you enjoy most about it?
Eli: The best part about being in RtA is that we get to hang out with our best friends in the world. And we get to work together, and build something that’ll be here for a long time, and a lot of people will benefit from.
David: We work with no restraints. We’re all best friends, we’re all family. There’s nothing really holding us down. If we want to do something it’s up for negotiation.
We’re all best friends, we’re all family.
Eli: Also, we look at the opportunity we’ve had to be in this kind of environment with the brand and the timing and this and that, we are so careful not to f*ck it up — sorry — because basically we are blessed. We spend more time at work than anywhere else.
Q: It definitely didn’t fall from the sky, a lot of hard work.
Eli: Well, maybe there’s a little sprinkling of fairy dust on top, but we definitely put in the hours, because we know what we have to lose. It’s not just about being unsuccessful. It’s losing the opportunity to work with your family.
David: These days anyone can become relevant really fast. But it’s how you stay, and continue making making magic. That’s what we try to do.
These days anyone can become relevant really fast. It’s how you stay.
RtA (Road to Awe)
RtA launched in the spring of 2014 by Eli Azran and David Rimokh. The brand is based in Los Angeles. RtA is sold at top retailers including Barney’s, Bergdorf Goodman, Elyse Walker, Hirshleifers, Intermix, Maxfield and Patron of the New, in the US, as well as numerous doors in Europe and Asia (Selfridges, Montaigne Market, Antonia, Restir, Club Designer). RtA’s Flagship store opened in January 2017 on Melrose Ave in Los Angeles, with Miami and New York opening later this year. The brand has gained a strong influencer following – Kendall Jenner, Gigi Hadid, Heidi Klum, Alessandra Ambrosio and Olivia Wilde are all fans.