The number of brands that come across my desk cannot easily be indexed. One after the other, a seemingly infinite selection of brands that more or less offer the same thing. And for every 50th cookie-cutter brand I see (how many DTC basics brands can there be!?), there is one brand that holds my attention. This time, that 51st brand is Riverside Tool & Dye.
Founded by Kate Leeman in 2012, Riverside lifts tie-dye to heights leagues above tired summer camp activities or backyard DIY projects. Using natural fiber garments and low-impact dyes, Leeman and her team paints and hand-dyes works of art onto a range of garments, often deadstock and vintage styles.
Riverside takes after Japanese dyeing techniques and shifts the colors into vibrant psychedelia. The result is the grandeur of the cosmos on a pair of vintage painter’s pants. Or a bedsheet. Or a scrunchie.
You might’ve caught one of Riverside’s splashed hoodies on its way to an NBA locker room — Kawhi Leonard, Lebron James and Ben Simmons are all fans. The fashion elite have taken notice as well with top heads at Versace and Coveteur sporting Riverside goods.
I’m not exactly a tie-dye fan. Not a hater, either. And God knows Riverside isn’t the first brand to do tie-dye. But the depth of tones and colorways the brand manages to achieve are unlike any other and I am mesmerized. In the whirlpool of tie-dye streetwear brands, Riverside is more than just a drop in the bucket.