After taking a three-year hiatus, Shayne Oliver is reintroducing Hood by Air and once again aims to be more than a fashion label.
Launched 13 years ago, the streetwear brand and collective went on pause a few years ago. Oliver had started making T-shirts in his Brooklyn apartment in 2007. The following year he took a break from the brand and reintroduced It 2012 as a lifestyle collection. Oliver’s subversive runway shows and fluid fashion helped to usher in the luxury streetwear category that has become a fashion mainstay.
Having rolled out a series of side projects and initiatives, the founder said in a press release that he is reintroducing HBA because “even now gentrification leaves no physical spaces for new, influential ideas to exist or reside. So Hood by Air will be a place for these for these ideas to have a home.”
Oliver is not doing any interviews at this time, according to a spokeswoman.
The company’s new setup has four sections — Hood by Air, HBA, Museum and Anonymous Club. Hood by Air will “set the theme” each year with an event or activation. HBA will be a direct-to-consumer platform and “dialogue,” according to the press release. The idea is to have releases without the restraints of “old-world calendars.”
The museum will house the label’s archives and styles will be reintroduced and reimagined to appeal to new audiences. In some instances, a designer-in-residence will reinterpret the items. The Anonymous Club is an independent platform geared for fostering on-the-rise creatives. Artists, musicians and a variety of organizations will be tapped “to co-conspire” to work toward “a more positive world and future.” Leveraging past items and silhouettes from young creatives who are Black, Indigenous and people of color will help to inform and create the future, according to the company.
From Oliver’s view, another world needs to be formed and that involves “tearing this old one down” and “figuring out a way to build a new one up,” according to the press material. Another element calls for amplifying ideas and conversations that are considered important.
For this week’s return, a limited-edition T-shirt is being launched Thursday with a charitable component. That will also be the case with Hood by Air’s introduction of a limited-run Cash Card in partnership the financial service Cash App. The metallic grid of earned media value-style payment chips have been designed by Oliver for HBA. Proceeds from the sales of both items will be divided and donated to Black Trans Femmes in the Arts, Emergency Release Fund and Gays & Lesbians Living in a Transgender Society in coordination with HBA’s support of Black, LGBTQ artists and communities, local police reform and Black Lives Matter causes.
A LVMH Young Designers prize finalist, Oliver amassed a following over the years for Hood by Air through fans like Kanye West, A$AP Rocky and Rihanna. Oliver has also shared his talents with Helmut Lang, Diesel and Colmar over the years.
Best of WWD