A mustard leather jacket, frayed high waist shorts, high-top Vans and a Black Sabbath shirt. Welcome to nostalgic rock ‘n roll style, circa 2017, taking inspiration from the hey-day of classic rock with a dose of Dog Town and Z-Boys.
It’s hard to pinpoint just exactly what Riot House is about because the brand gets inspiration from so many influences. But one thing is for sure, the Riot Girl is not shy, and she has loads of fucking attitude. She’s likely just as hard to pinpoint.
Founders, Cleo Black and Ashlee Golighty name Tarantino movies, Venice Beach, Woodstock, Americana, motorcycle culture, Dog Town, the Z Boys. Mostly, 70s rock music is the element that ties everything together. It inspires everything the brand produces, “from the names of the pieces to the prints.”
The brand’s very name was inspired by the “infamous Continental Hyatt House (the Riot Hyatt) hotel on the Sunset Strip in LA: the last bastion of rock n roll. [The hotel] bore witness to John Bonham tearing ass down the halls on his Harley, Jim Morrison dangling from the balconies by his fingertips and the Keiths (Moon and Richards) hurling TV’s out of open windows.”
“It’s a symbol of a time in history and in music that not only inspires us in our personal lives but is also the root of inspiration behind Riot House.”
Launched in October 2016, Riot House was born from the owners’ “combined love of music, nostalgia and a lust for a style of clothing that has never been readily available to us in SA.”
“Each and every piece [is] sourced, reworked, branded and stitched with love.”
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But Riot House isn’t limited only to the ‘retro-obsessed’, “our pieces can be worn in loads of different ways that work from different styles.
Cleo and Ashlee support independent and local designers and suppliers as much as they can. Why? Because the difference in buying from international retailers is that local brands and businesses are “built by someone who’s really passionate about what they do.” Even better, “[money] that goes to locally owned small businesses is money that’s supporting the South African economy.”
If that’s not enough though, “When someone purchases a product from RH, we both do a happy dance…and the nature of Instagram or Facebook means that we interact directly with our client which is SO gratifying. ”
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Photography- Gerald Kallis
Model- Zoya Pon
Styling- Bodysuit, Black Sabbath shirt, Leather jacket, Turquoise necklace: all Riot House.