How ‘Electric & Rose’ Are Changing Tie-Dye Beachwear
It feels like yesterday that the tie-dye trend was hot, both new and retro. Now that the technique is over almost everything—from luxury couture on the runway, to pillows at Urban Outfitters, and even jogging pants at Target—one has to wonder, what is the future of tie-dye?
The tie-dye trend dates to ancient Asia, where natural dyes were used in Japan in the 6th century to color clothing. Berries, leaves and flowers were boiled, and fabrics were soaked in them. It expanded to India shortly after, but it wasn’t popularized until the 1960s, when it represented free love and count culture rebellion, and was worn during Vietnam War protests, or at music festivals like Woodstock. It was mass produced throughout the 1980s and has since become a mainstay in fashion.
Clearly, tie-dye garments aren’t going away anytime soon. But what does it mean for the future of fashion? One brand that spearheaded the tie-dye trend is California brand, Electric & Rose. Since the brand started in 2014, they’ve been at the forefront of high-end tie-dye t-shirts, cozy sweaters, leggings, and denim.
Now that tie-dye has seen its peak in fashion—let’s say around 2018—what does the future hold for this trend, and how is it kept fresh? “Tie-dye is going minimal, it’s becoming something minimalist,” said Iva Sherman, the vice president of design at Electric & Rose.
“It’s all about the simplicity of a stripe in tie-dye, and less is more,” she adds. “Softer colors and greys in tie-dye, too, and color blocking.”
Sherman would know, as Electric & Rose recently launched their Fall 2022 collection. “Tie-dye is part of our brand DNA, we’re always trying to make it feel fresh and new,” said Sherman. “Throughout the past few years, and in our summer 2022 collection, we are trying to go back to the basics. We love going outside of the box and keep it fresh and new.”
They’ve expanded into home accessories, bucket hats and yoga pants, “all of which stay true to that Venice, California aesthetic,” she said. “Right now, we’re headed towards that elevated beach lifestyle, but we have a bit of rock and roll edge in there. Its about having distressed denim, grunge, and vintage washes. Worn-in faded colors with a bit of pop.”
While the brand has grown beyond their tie-dye roots, they incorporate them in their latest collection, which includes the Sunset leggings, which have just one calf highlighted with tie-dye, while the Neil sweatshirt has tie-dye along the ribcage on either side. Their new Knight tank top has tie-dye over one shoulder.
These are all minimal approaches to a typically maximalist trend. “A lot of our inspiration is found in nature,” said Sherman. “It was a lot of finding it in the desert of Joshua Tree. We did have tie-dye in our collection before it peaked in the mainstream and wanted to continue to spearhead the direction of tie-dye. To set our own path.”
They recently hosted a pop-up cabana at the W South Beach, as part of the WSB Camp, helping guests create their own D.I.Y. jean shirts, with hippie patches. This playful approach is what first started the brand, as the co-founders Eric Balfour and Erin Chiamulon first started Electric & Rose as a hobby, hand-making tie-dye pieces in their garage, for their family and friends. Today, it’s a lifestyle brand worn by Hailey Bieber, and celebrity yogis, like Caley Alyssa, Jen Pastiloff, and Briohny Smyth.
The looks are meant to “emulate the Venice Beach lifestyle,” said Sherman. “Chevron has always maintained throughout the collection as our tried-and-true signature tie-dye.”
“For us, it’s about coloring outside the lines, she adds.