Meet Bronte Treat and Mario Guajardo, the incredible creative minds behind Richter Goods, a San Antonio based shirting company. Their work embodies the full circle of garment production from international fabric sourcing and vintage button hunting to pattern making and in-house sewing and stitching. And if that didn't keep them busy enough, they also operate a chain-stitching outfit called Lunchroom Anxiety. They're the real deal, and they're here to tell us about their creative process and how they spend their days in San Antonio.
Far West: What do you see as your unique creative vision and aesthetic?
Richter Goods: We embody the independent spirit of San Antonio. Our designs are informed by the landscape of south-central Texas with subtle nods to the lore of the west: pearl snaps, chevron flap pockets, and the occasional arcuate yoke.
FW: What kind of research and inspiration do you draw from?
RG: We are inspired by archival pieces and objects that we find around our city and while traveling. We recently sourced a Beaumont and Martha Mood terracotta pendant light. The geometric patterns and bright glazes are reminiscent of Southwestern patterns that you’ll see running through our Fall/Winter collection.
FW: How do you approach the selection of materials, colors, and textures for your designs?
RG: Fit and fabric make a garment. We source the highest quality fabrics from heritage mills in Japan, Portugal, and Italy. We’re especially drawn to fabric with depth like Jacquards. We want to create timeless garments that have longevity, while also participating in the silhouettes and color palettes of the season.
FW: Do you collaborate with other designers, artists, or creatives as part of your design process?
RG: We love working with other artists and designers. We recently collaborated with metalsmith Alejandro Sifuentes to create turquoise belt buckles, rings, and bracelets to dress our collection. We’ve also created with independent brands like Luby’s, San Antonio Rodeo, Pearl Beer, San Antonio Shoemakers, and now, excitingly, Far West.
FW: Are there any relevant cultural, historical, and social contexts related to your work?
RG: Western shirts are the American uniform. From 16th century vaqueros to Hollywood's obsession with the cowboy: Broncho Billy, Roy Rogers, James Dean to name a few. The cowboy is a leading character in American folklore and our brand pays homage to this epic story.
FW: You've recently started working with hospitality companies on uniforms. Do you have any other long-term goals or aspirations?
RG: We are a vertically integrated manufacturing company. For the past ten years, we’ve focused on acquiring the machinery and talent needed to manufacture garments in-house and scale production. Our next goal is to present our F/W 24 collection at Man/Woman Paris.
FW: You live and work in San Antonio. Can you tell us about a perfect day in SA?
RG: Saturday is the perfect day. We walk the 0.8 miles from our house to the studio. We make coffee and talk about fabrics. We water the studio plants. We’ll leave around noon and walk to breakfast somewhere in the neighborhood. Escargot and negronis at Cullum’s Attaboy. Or the arrachera and margaritas at La Fonda on Main. We may go to an estate sale or a museum. We love The McNay, Ruby City, or the Briscoe Western Art Museum. Catch a show at Echo Bridge or The Lonesome Rose. The riverwalk isn’t overrated for date night if you know where to go.
Pearl Snap Camp Shirt by Richter Goods