Why is #MasculinitySoFragile?

Desert dreams and inspiration

Opening the door of Rene Holguin's RTH store on La Cienega and stepping into the piñon incense-scented space is like stumbling upon the souvenir shop of your dreams.

A native of El Paso, Holguin learned leather crafting from his boot-maker father. He started his label in 2010 with accessories — cowhide leather flower pins and fringe necklaces, bandanna tote bags and felt hats — all evoking treasures you might find on a road trip.

That vision has since evolved into a lifestyle collection, including unisex shirts and shirtdresses, shawls, jackets and denim, with a timeless, utilitarian cool. When design teams from J. Crew, Levi's and Ralph Lauren want inspiration, they visit RTH. But when Holguin wants to get inspired, he hits the road.

FULL COVERAGE: Spring fashion

Last spring, he took a trip to Arcosanti, the experimental architectural community and bronze casting bell foundry in the high desert between Phoenix and Sedona. The site was developed by the late Italian American architect Paolo Solieri, who started construction in 1970, using the community to demonstrate his theory of arcology, or how urban living could be improved by minimizing impact on the natural environment.

With its distinctive dome structures carved into the side of the hills, Arcosanti has fascinated everyone from potter/interior designer Jonathan Adler to filmmaker George Lucas, who visited the site in the 1970s for inspiration for "Star Wars."

And it fascinated Holguin too. His traveling companion was Jay Carroll, creator of the style blog, which showcases projects and collaborations that look back at American goods in new ways. These images are among the many beautiful photographs they took of Arcosanti residents dressed in RTH. They might just inspire you to hit the road too.

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