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Peace on RTH

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Stepping into RTH, Rene Holguin's leather goods shop in West Hollywood, one feels the urge to give a full-throated yee-haw! Raised in El Paso, Texas, Holguin was schooled in the family trade. His father, a genuine cowboy and leather-smith, was renowned for his handmade cowboy boots. "My dad taught me every step in the making of a cowboy boot, it was an incredible education for me as far as learning the design process," explains Holguin. His mother was an interior designer. "My parents put the bug in me as far as design and style goes," Holguin says. "The store has a point of view that is highly influenced by the house I grew up in."

The meticulously merchandised boutique also reflects his time spent in Vermont working under the guidance of his style mentor Ralph Lauren in numerous capacities, including creative director for Polo retail. "Growing up in Texas I wanted the opposite, to be an East Coast prepster," Holguin recalls. "Ralph Lauren was my introduction to that world." A world that led Holguin to work as a fashion director for J. Crew and a VP at Lucky Brand Jeans and Levi's, which ultimately inspired him to open his own store smack dab in the middle of L.A.'s design quarter in late 2010.

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The stark white building is unassuming, save for a large wood- en sign that spells out "RTH." But consider the exterior a palette cleanser for the accessory overload within. The store sells a range of handmade leather flowers, beaded belts and turquoise jewelry crafted by in-house designers and a selection of vintage clothing. In the back, Holguin has a workshop for his team of artisans. "My favorite thing more than 'made in the USA' is 'made by hand,'" he says. "RTH is influenced by artisans from all over the world -- every country uses leather, beading, similar symbols in their designs, and you come to find that we are all more similar than we are different."

RTH is located at 537 N. La Cienega Blvd., West Hollywood, Ca.

Above: RTH goods; Below: Rene Holguin

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