Design Thinking: R13


(Image courtesy of R13)


In Graduate School, one of the buzzwords professors love to discuss is "Design Thinking." Design Thinking is an iterative process in which we seek to understand the user, challenge assumptions, and redefine problems to identify alternative strategies and solutions that might not be instantly apparent with our initial level of understanding (Dam and Siang). Design Thinking enables a company to understand consumer needs to serve their audience better. For this project, I contacted different companies to learn how the organizations apply Design Thinking into their market offerings. I had the opportunity to talk with Mychael, R13's PR Assistant, to learn more about the brand.


(Image courtesy of R13)


1. What makes R13 different from other brands on the market?

Truthfully, it’s hard to think about what makes a brand different from the rest. Aren’t they truly seeking the same thing, success? However, if I had to think of one thing, I would say R13’s authenticity. I can’t speak for other brands and their Creative Directors, however, being in R13’s environment and around Chris Leba, our CD, while he’s working, I see how every piece is greatly thought out and remains true to the brand’s personality. Not everyone can do grunge and rock 'n' roll well, however, R13 is the embodiment of how to do punk and how to do it perfectly. Not changing its core to meet the ever-changing industry is how R13 is different!



(Image courtesy of R13)


2. How does R13 stay ahead of upcoming trends?

By setting them. Avoiding the status quo, R13 thinks outside of the box and creates new styles that haven’t been done yet. For example, in our PF22 (Pre-Fall) collection, Chris Leba, our creative director, made shirts with extra fabric meant to be pulled over your head.



(Image courtesy of R13)

Think about all those times when it’s drizzling outside and you just need to go around the corner but forget your umbrella, well this style is the answer to that. Chris’s mind goes beyond staying up to date on trends but staying away from them so he and the rest of our team can create something new!




(Image courtesy of R13)

3. Where does R13 draw inspiration from during the design process?

R13 is greatly inspired by Rock ’n’ Roll and the 80s! A lover of both, Chris wants to keep punk alive (and is doing great at it) by referencing the styles of different rockers and aesthetics of the 80s. In addition, anything from old clothes to celeb photos from the 80s has inspired the design process our Design Team goes through. Ultimately they get their inspiration from anywhere and bring an authentic grungy, punk twist to make it true to R13 and the brand’s soul!




(Image courtesy of R13)


4. How does R13 incorporate its mission and vision into its product offerings?

Our mission and vision at R13 are to bring grunge and punk to the rest of the world and do it well and authentically. R13 isn’t about being the cookie-cutter perfect, we want to stand outside the box and away from what’s expected. With customers who either align themselves with our “IDGAF” attitude, our grungy image, or both, we at R13 want to make sure our products are a reflection of us and who’s wearing it.




(Image courtesy of R13)


5. What is the future of the company?

The future of R13 is to grow and remain the punk, rock brand the fashion industry needs! We have been toying around with the idea of introducing eyewear, jewelry, and more down the line, so be on the lookout. Overall growth and expansion are what’s in the future for R13.



(Logo courtesy of R13)

Me on my first day of graduate school

Rachel Huss

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