We live in the age where new clothing brands pop up at a pace that they never have before. Thanks to the rise of social media, crowdfunding platforms like Kickstarter, e-commerce platforms like Shopify, and the increased accessibility to make things in factories in America and all over the world, building awareness and getting product in the hands of potential customers is all but a few clicks away. So when a brand comes along that catches our eye, it's probably something worth paying attention to.
RIDEAU is the recently debuted brainchild of Dylan Granger. The Act 001 "Canvas" collection consists of primarily cream basics like T-shirts, fleece shorts, tank tops, double-zip hoodies, button-downs, and scene-stealing silk blend bomber jacket. The monotone color story lends to the luxurious, louche energy of the clothes. They fit into the paradigm of today's cultured jetsetter, the kind of global citizen who feels at home on a plane, by the beach, or in the grind of a bustling city—and always looks effortlessly put together.
The accompanying lookbook, shot by photographer Christina Paik and styled by up-and-coming stylist Adrian Carter, cements the attitude of RIDEAU's initial aesthetic. It plays with contrast and color to evoke a sense of versatility and quiet confidence with the clothes. We sat for a few moments with Dylan Granger to talk about the genesis of his new label.
What’s the idea behind RIDEAU, where did the name come from?
It’s a family name—it comes from my grandma’s side. It's my grandmother’s maiden name. In French, it translates to "curtain," so that was kind of like the debut of the creative process for me. A lot of our capsule collections are broken into “acts” or “studies”—divvying up different things.
Why the primarily white, cream color for the Summer 2015 collection?
The cream color comes from our debut. Our debut was to just a start with a clean canvas. It's me trying to use the most basic color I can to appeal to the masses. So you know, very subtle colors—nothing that’s jumping out at you and just starting from our a color palette. It's the reason you see a lot of tonal and a lot of non-branding, and simpler cuts. We pretty much stray away from prints and colors to convey our brand's message through the quality, our cuts, and the fabric.
Your hoodie has a full-zip, so technically you could unzip it into two halves. Where did that idea come from?
It stemmed from the notion of being able to utilize garments in different ways, and taking two garments and creating a new garment. And also a little bit of functionality too—instead of the basic side zippers that you see all the time, and venting and stuff like that.
Where you get your fabrics from? The hand on plenty of the clothes is really nice.
A lot of different places. Our bamboo terry is sourced from Japan. Our cottons are sourced from Portugal this season, and some of our wool and cashmere is sourced from the U.S. We try to mix it up a little bit and bring in the best of the best to create things with.
How much do these clothes cost?
A little bit higher than most entry-level luxury design. Our cotton and our terry cloth hoodies are coming in at $345. When it comes to the wool/cashmere blend hoodie, that goes up to $565, and then our basic tees are a little bit higher hitting market because we are using Portuguese Pima cotton, so they're $135.
What sets your tees apart from its competitors?
Definitely the raglan cut in all our basic T-shirts. It takes a little bit more away from a boxy cut when you’re wearing a T-shirt, and falls better on the body. It’s a little bit more comfortable, thanks to what the seaming’s like and how it fits around the armpits, too. Our sleeves are a bit shorter so you don’t get that huge, baggy kind of feel when you’re wearing a little bit larger and an elongated tee. So it gives you a little bit more fit in the shoulder.
People pay a lot of attention to zipper brands these days. What hardware are you using on your clothes?
We use all Lampo Italian zippers. RiRi is a great zipper. They’re great when applied to different garments. I think there is just more of an upper echelon when it comes to certain garments and certain fittings. And you know RiRi's started to become more of a common household name for zippers. I stumbled across Lampo, and a lot of my favorite designers use Lampo zippers, which are usually a lot better and track a lot better.
Who are some of your favorite designers?
I definitely draw inspiration from different facets of design. Obviously Rick Owens is one of my favorites. I love Erik Brunetti just because of his classic, Americana style mixed with Japanese style. So a lot of my inspiration is trying to bridge the gap between two different extremes of high-end fashion.
How do you define the RIDEAU aesthetic and consumer?
It's a way more refined consumer. Style conscious and fashion-conscious, but not very exuberant in what he wears. I typically like to wear a lot of tonal garments, and a lot of things that are maybe not the most recognizable clothes in the world, but they stand out for what they are.
Where are you from originally?
I’m from Wilmington, Delaware by way of multiple cities—Houston, D.C, New York. I was in D.C for about 4 years. I studied in D.C., I went to the Art Institute and then I transferred to American University.
Did you get into clothes and style through D.C.'s culture scene?
I did a lot of work through Rock Creek Social Club, and had my start in D.C with Durkl. I did a little bit of interning for them, mostly in graphics and marketing.
How would you define how D.C style and how that scene has evolved?
I think it’s definitely an interesting culmination of people starting to spearhead their own aesthetic for a city, which is very interesting to see develop. I definitely like how Maketto redefined that experience of shopping in D.C.
Do you think the misconception of D.C style and being a “swagless city” has any truth to it?
I think D.C has its own style and its own niche. It has pockets of style, but where and how you find those pockets relies on you as a person and your relationship with the city. I think there’s definitely a style in D.C that’s maybe not as widely noticed, but I definitely think it’s there.
But like, the "basketball shorts, Solbiato lanyard, and Foams" look is still very much a thing.
Oh my gosh, yes. It’s still there. It's not necessarily my thing, but it’s still there.
For pieces like the side hem sweatshirt, you see that trope a lot now in menswear. Why do you think that’s so prevalent, and what are you trying to do to put your own spin on it?
I definitely think that loose-fitting garments are what’s trending right now, but how to develop those and to bring them into a different light. We’re trying to challenge people with the materials we're making them out of. Because anybody can make a T-shirt that drapes, but is it going to hold that shape? And is it going to drape properly?
It's July now, and it's super hot. What’s the trick to rocking fleece and wool when it’s soupy?
That was an interesting challenge. Although I do design in the U.S and my production is in New York, my collection is for people all over the world. I was kind of trying to be a middle man with fabric that can be worn in hotter weather and cooler weather. Our terry is very light, very breathable, and made out of bamboo—which makes it more pliable.
What are the biggest lessons you’ve learned along the way when it comes to starting a new brand?
Time management definitely number one. And just delivering is number two. If you’re going to set your mind to it, don’t think about it too much. Just do it put it out there. And I think making sure your vision and what you’re doing is true to yourself and not following anybody else. You want to make your own lane and have people know you for you.
RIDEAU's Act 001 "Canvas" collection is available now at ri-deau.com