This was one of those sessions. Dream session. AVE, Dill, Dylan, Cody and I ending the day in an empty East LA schoolyard. Fading light, high ISO’s, slow shutter speeds..not the most ideal situation to photograph…but looking back it didn’t really matter. Just stoked to have been there.
It’s October 12th, scrolling through Instagram, Transwold has posted a picture of Dylan Rieder and his baby German Sheppard. Out of the 276 comments on that picture the first one reads, “Grace, power, style, incomparable influence… One of the best to ever ride a skateboard, one of the kindest people to ever walk this planet. Rest in Peace, Dylan.”
Dylan Joseph Rieder was born May 26, 1988 in Westminster California, to his father Joe Rieder and his mother, Dana Nee Webb. According to his father Dylan started skating his local park at the age of 9 after his father bought him his first board. Not long after Dylan won the 2001 Damn-Am contest, putting him on the fast track to skateboard stardom, and a flourishing professional career.
After his 2001 performace, Rieder was quickly picked up by Osiris and Quiksilver. In 2003 he released a part in Osiris’s “Subject to Change” and two years later released a part in Quiksilver’s 2005 “Promo”. Dylan continued skating AM contests until the release of his breakout part in Transworld’s 2006 video, A Time to Shine, turning him pro. The part received tremendous feedback, being categorized as a “Classic” by Thrasher Magazine, and winning him Skateboard Mag’s 2006 AM of the year award. Not long after, Rieder appeared in Alien Workshop’s 2009 video, “Mindfield”, highlighting his unhampered personal style, one the skateboarding world had never seen, or even dreamed of before. With his credentials rising steadily, footwear brand Gravis, among other brands, took notice. It was in 2010, with the release of his head-turning Gravis part, “Dylan”, that he released his first shoe. Unlike most skateboarding shoes of the Era, or those before it, Rieder’s wasn’t rugged or in your face, a slip on, more-so resembling an all black dress shoe.
As Dylan’s personal fashion sense developed, the fashion world caught on. Dylan first appeared in the September 2012 issue of Vogue and later in a 2014 issue for designer Alexander Wang. He also appeared alongside Cara Delevigne and Jourdan Dunn for DKNY’s 2014 spring campaign. Dylan’s fashion activities were accepted in full, and almost mimicked by the skateboarding scene, something that was unheard of. In a memoriam piece posted this year, GQ quotes Rieder as, “The Skateboarder who changed fashion forever.”
After the shutdown of Gravis Footwear in 2012, Dylan redesigned his signature slip-on with HUF, shortly after joining their team in early 2013. In early 2014 he had left Alien Workshop and released a part in the Supreme film “Cherry”. From his style choices to the way he simply pushed down the street, many agreed Dylan’s section was the best in the video. It was the style choices he exhibited in “Cherry” that later influenced an entire generation of Converse wearing, shirt tucking, pant cuffing, loose truck riding teenagers that still follow his role to this day. It was also in 2014 when Rieder teamed up with Anthony Van Engelen, (AVE), and Jason Dill to create a new board brand dubbed, F—king Awesome (FA). It was not long after the creation of F—king Awesome that Rieder won Transworld’s 2015 “Best Part” for his contribution to “Cherry”.
Shortly after returning from the HUF European Tour, Rieder reported feeling constant nausea and decided to get blood work done. It was not long after when he was diagnosed with Leukemia. In March of 2015 he received a bone marrow transplant fro his sister, a month later he was in remission. However, the disease returned in November of 2015 and again he received a transplant from his sister, again he was in remission. It was not until mid 2016 when the disease finally returned. On October 12, 2016 Dylan Joseph Rieder, surrounded by his family and friends, lost his battle with leukemia.
A day after his death, Thrasher Magazine posted a statement regarding the passing of Rieder stating, “Born to ride a skateboard? It’s a seemingly silly concept when you think about it, but Dylan Rieder made us believe it. That man was absolutely, positively, a gift. Power, style, grace - he had it all. That said, he was much more than a skateboarder, and that’s what makes this infinitely tragic. Think about what he had already accomplished and imagine how much more he could have done. We are at a loss for words right now, but what we do know is that Dylan made everything around him better. Our thoughts are with his family and friends in this difficult time. Rest in Peace, Dylan Rieder. We will all miss you, each day more than the next.
Rieder influenced those who could never be. He pushed like he had never pushed before. He made any kid who owned some worn out white tee-shirt feel like they too could go pro. He made your grandfather’s wool trousers and leather loafers look cool, like they were made to skate. I never met Rieder, I never really got into the Supreme scene, and I’ve never skated in loafers. Rieder didn’t care; he wore loafers because he could, and because he’d sure as hell be better than you while wearing them. Rieder encompassed what skateboarding is all about, doing what you want for you, and not caring what anybody else thinks. He was able to do what most can’t comprehend almost all fail to accomplish.
Last Saturday some of skateboarding’s finest film photographers gathered at the Leica Gallery in Beverley Hills, CA for the opening of the Rolling Through the Shadows group exhibition. Vans Propeller mastermind @huntfilmwork had some classic shots of AVE and Dill, Ray Barbee printed up an unseen Acosta crooked grind while @anthonyacostaphoto returned the favor by featuring Ray’s iconic backside 360 photo. The show runs through the end of the month so don’t miss out on this heavy line up.
ROLLING THROUGH THE SHADOWS Exhibition Leica Gallery, Los Angeles March 5th - 31st, 2016
Don’t forget! Tomorrow is Epicly Later’d’s Patrick Odell is having a photo show at Nocturnal Skateshop in Philly from 6-8pm. He’s got classic photos of Cards, Dustin, DIll, Ave and a ton of others for days!