In 2006, the New York fashion world was shaken by the hood by Air, a chaotic, pan-racial, gender-bending burst of a brand. Born of the club scene, founded by Shayne Oliver and Raul Lopez, it foretold the rise of luxury streetwear and proved that avant-garde can still exist in the shadow of the apparel district.
In 2017, however, the HBA went on a “hiatus” plagued by personal and professional issues. This month, it finally returns. Mr. Oliver, 32, reveals what he hopes for.
Vanessa Friedman: Ever since you went on hiatus, you’ve guest-designed Helmut Lang and started a creative studio, called the Anonymous Club. Now why are you bringing the hood back by air?
Shiny Oliver: For the same reasons, we started Hood in Air for the first time. We all admire fashion, but it was not really the catering where we were in the world. At the time, it was really about the voice of my generation, and it has become a fashion voice that needs to be there, necessarily. There is nothing that speaks to us again.
Do we remember this hood by air? Or something new?
When we started doing shows, it was really about showing people that our lifestyles could be associated with fashion. Like this time it is a conversation for the person who follows that ethos? Before we were putting dreams on the runway, and now it’s more about the wardrobe: how does this person live?
How are they
It is a lot about conservation. Last time we were so insecure because we were loving the fact that our conversation was being accepted, but there was no one to protect it. So now there are appendages that protect you and then stop. Before we do utilitarian details such as zip and buckle as decoration, this time a lot of it is for real use, changing to the new silhouette.
You are calling the first drop a “prelude”. what does this mean?
Essentially this is our announcement that we are going to do a show and this is our practice ground for the show to come back and perform in Ready-to-Wear. The idea is in June. We break it down into these acts: the wardrobe, which is slated for contemporary pricing; Road wearer, which is semi-inexpensive but slightly elevated; And then the goods. The Mall is more like a fan-oriented collection where even if you’re just into the beauty of the show, you can take away an asset from it, as if the brand were a band.
I think previously everyone had a great relationship with streetwear and merchandise, but now we’re really focused on the wardrobe, or how this person lives in the real world outside of fantasy. It is basically the same. It is for the consumer who really follows us. A lot of people inform the brand, a lot of demographics inform the brand. It is about the international language that is being created everywhere.
The first collection was drawn entirely on Naomi Campbell. Why did you pick it up?
In the process of coming back, I was mood-boarding a lot of things, and a lot of work to do with really strong black board entities. we are all Thisoung, black, gay men, with all these strong women in families. So we were like, “Okay, so if we’re going in that direction, we should talk to Mother.”
We worked on a Naomi Merc Peace for the TV show “Empire” and we were talking about the same effect. We quote him, like, every other day. His laughing and his looks remind us of the mother figures in our lives and they interact with us in a loving yet stern manner.
what have you learned?
I think you really have to understand your speed. Streetwear is doing this, because of which I think streetwear is now very modern. It is not about being absent, always carrying something to do. It’s like working on a bunch of stuff, be really proud of it, and just speed it up and really make a calendar for yourself. There is a way to interact with the fashion world where you do not put all your work and all your initiative behind the fashion machine, but you offer something that you think is missing.
This interview has been edited and condensed.