HOOD BY AIR are making waves in the fashion industry with their forward-thinking aesthetic, blurring gender boundaries and uprooting tradition in favour of the cutting-edge. We talk to designer Shayne Oliver about his thought-provoking designs.
SS14 was described as the “re-definition of Americana’s idiot savant” – can you tell us a little more about this?
It’s a commentary on how the world views American culture and its relevance from an international view point.
You’ve grown up in New York and that’s very much reflected in Hood by Air’s design – how do you think the collection will translate to the London scene?
I think the person that is gravitating towards HBA is entering into our world opposed to the brand translating into any new ones.
You’re one half of GHE20 G0TH1K, how does being part of this DJ/production influence Hood by air?
It allowed me to communicate with people more, without having to actually talk.
You started out filming runway shows in your living room, are you surprised how quickly the brand has exploded onto everyone’s radar?
It feels the same, same core energy, same team... so it’s not surprising, just more so satisfying to show at a large scale.
The models in your show aren’t your typical runway types – how do you cast them?
I work closely with Kevin Amato to form a HOOD BY AIR group and community for the runways. It’s a combination of friends, artists, models and street casting.
You’ve been vocal about blurring the divide between masculine and feminine clothing – how does HBA bridge the gap?
There is no such thing as a sex with HOOD BY AIR, just a power source which is rooted in an aggressive, masculine-based energy.
It would be easy to make urban/hip-hop comparisons, but actually we’ve noticed an almost punk aesthetic – would we be correct?
Yeah, my upbringing is more where the influence of hip hop/urban aesthetics come from. I associate with punk aesthetics just as much as hip hop aesthetics... they both are forms of detailing I grew up with.