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The History of Dylan Rieder

Style means something very different to the skate community than it does to the fashion community. But when discussing Dylan Rieder, who gets a lot of attention from both camps, you have to talk about the former before you get to the latter.

No matter what clothes or shoes Rieder puts on, his style on a skateboard stands out. That’s been apparent from his part in Osiris’ Subject to Change (2003) through his section in Supreme’s “cherry” from earlier this year. The incredible pop, the fluidity, and the “Oh, this old thing?” approach to ridiculously difficult tricks are the reasons true skate rats will forever appreciate Rieder’s skating. The fact that the awesome pro and one-time Alien Workshop rider happens to wear cool-looking—or at least interesting—gear is a bonus.

In Dylan’s Epicly Later’d, Jason Dill, his teammate on both companies, sums up his style thusly:

“It’s about, ‘Fuck you guys,’” he says. Look at this original guy running around in his cute little rolled-up pants and his shirts with the buttons on and little necklace. He looks great. That’s what’s funny. You talk about the way Dylan dresses. Look what we’re doing now: talking about Dylan. So joke’s on you.”

While Dylan’s physical features—the subject of many a forum thread—and his incredible skating have remained a constant, his sartorial choices have morphed and matured over the years. How much? We won’t try to quantify the shift, but here’s a look back at the style evolution of Dylan Rieder.

The Kid Stays in the Picture
When: Early 2000s
Gear: Quiksilver T-shirts, big Osiris shoes, Flexfit hat, braces

The skate world first took notice of Dylan when he was sponsored by Quiksilver. (He was also on Birdhouse and Osiris around this time.) His look was similar to most other young skate rats who idolized Jamie Thomas and loved Zero’s Misled Youth (1999) video. Tight jeans, big shoes—how Dylan or anyone else managed to skate big rails in those kits is still a mystery of physics.

Stay Shining
When: 2006
Gear: Vans Slip-Ons, workwear chinos, flannel button-ups

As Dylan grew up, his skating evolved, and so did his style. His first major video part came in Transworld Skateboarding’s A Time to Shine in 2006. The kid in braces who liked to jump down big gaps was now a full-on teenager who could skate tranny as well. As a result, his style was more reminiscent of people like Tony Trujillo, a skater as literally and figuratively far removed as Dylan’s native Orange County as one can imagine. Gone were the massive Osiris sneakers. In their place were slimmer Vans Slip-Ons (although the Nike SB Raygun Dunks make a cameo in the section). The look was all about function, so there were pieces like workwear chinos and flannel button-ups that were more in line with the style of Northern California skaters. No one called Dylan out for straying from his SoCal roots, though.

The Mind Field Era
When: 2009
Gear: Gravis shoes, captain’s hats, tank tops

It was in Alien Workshop’s Mind Field, from 2009, that the seeds of Dylan as so-called “style icon” started to emerge. His hair was longer; he wore captain’s hats; and towards the end of the part, his much talked about Gravis shoe, the Dylan, made an appearance.

While most skaters were still favouring functional workwear, Dylan started going off in his own unique direction (in more ways than that—he was also dealing with a pharmaceutical drug problem at the time). His look owed more to indie rock than it did to skating. And, yes, he was hated on for it.

Those Shoes
When: 2010
Gear: Gravis Dylan shoe

Skate shoe trends have always gone in waves. There was a time when every brand was copying bulky DC models, followed by periods where Vans’ Eras and Half Cabs, along with Nike SB’s Dunks, were the kicks that all labels aped. With his first signature shoe with Gravis, Dylan went for something different.

The model was a hybrid of sorts, blending elements of a Repetto dance shoe with a slip-on and a skate shoe. As with most truly new things, people didn’t know what to make of the model when it came out. There were plenty of haters, but, as Jason Dill notes in an Epicly Later’d episode, a lot of the folks who outwardly badmouthed the shoe secretly coveted it. And the video part that Dylan put out to support the kicks was one of the best of the year.

In Vogue
When: 2012
Gear: Cropped black pants, crisp white Oxford, black sweater, black leather jacket

Dylan appeared in a two-page spread in the September 2012 issue of Vogue (yes, that September issue, alongside A$AP Rocky and Zoë Kravitz, in a story about Alexander Wang called “Untamed Youth.”

The story showed that Dylan was as much a part of the fashion world as he was the skate world. The minimalist, black-and-white styles he started rocking were much more New York City than Los Angeles and suited a guy who was comfortable straying from the norm.

Disillusioned Young Man

When: 2012
Gear: Unbranded T-shirts tucked into rolled-up pants

Dylan came off as quite the iconoclast in a video profile for French magazine Desillusion. While most pro skaters plaster themselves with their sponsors’ logos, he expressed his disgust with most branding, even bemoaning his own employers’ proprietary marks. Instead, he opted for wide-neck T-shirts tucked into rolled-up pants, a look that would become one of his signatures. If you or any of your friends “dress like Dylan,” your look probably owes to this micro-era.

Model Behaviour
When: 2014
Gear: Baseball jacket, trench coat, button-ups with the top button done

Dylan cemented his place in the fashion world by appearing in DKNY’s Spring 2014 ad campaign (again with A$AP Rocky). This time the duo was joined by It models Cara Delevingne and Jourdan Dunn. Even though he was dressed by a stylist for the shoot, Dylan managed to look very much himself, sporting a simple palette of blacks and whites and tans. It’s hard to imagine any other pro skater carrying this with such ease.

Cherry on Top
When: 2014
Gear: Monochromatic T-shirts, slim rolled-up pants

Dylan’s s part in Supreme’s “cherry”, released in March of this year, was arguably the best in the entire video. It just looks so damn smooth. His style choices do as well. Sometimes true cool doesn’t take more than monochromatic tees and tank tops tucked into slim, rolled-up pants. It’s funny to see how much the skate world has come around to this style. Which probably means Dylan is about to move on to something else.

Huf ‘n’ Stuff
When: 2014
Gear: Huf Dylan shoes, leather jackets, tank tops

For his first signature shoe with Huf, Dylan again went back to the slimmed-down wing-tip silhouette, but this time opted for a lace-up as opposed to his slip-on with Gravis. This isn’t a skate shoe for everyone, but that’s exactly the point. Dylan modeled the shoes in an editorial for Paper magazine, wearing a DKNY leather jacket and a Topshop tank. It’s the kind of look that is sure to make the ladies swoon, much like the scantily clad model in the black-and-white art-house clip Huf made to promote the shoe. If ever there was a skate clip that could inspire think pieces (or, at least, forum threads) and re-edits, one of them titled “non embarrassing version,” this would be it.