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July 30 2014

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Shayne Oliver’s Catching Some Air

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With his cult clothing line, Hood by Air, Shayne Oliver is redefining and elevating streetwear. And thanks to a recent flurry of celebrity endorsements from the likes of Kanye West, Drake, and A$AP Rocky (a friend of Oliver’s who wore custom HBA pieces as the opening act of Rihanna’s Diamonds tour and also closed the label’s buzzy runway show during New York fashion week), the brand is having a bona fide “fashion moment.”

Last night at the Museum of Arts and Design in Columbus Circle, Oliver sat down with Garmento magazine founder Jeremy Lewis to discuss HBA’s rising star, his approach to design, and his future plans. Oliver explained that he draws inspiration “from the energy of the city itself and looking around at the younger guys who have a sense of urgency in the way they dress. What you see on them is what’s happening right now.” On the topic of his aesthetic, he offered, “There’s a huge sense of luxury in feeling comfortable. It’s breezy. It’s coy. It’s about having on a full cashmere look and feeling like you’re going to the gym. It’s the modern man who can be like, ‘I’m so relaxed and you’re not.’”

Now that Oliver’s “ghetto gothic” aesthetic is catching on, he feels like he can evolve within HBA’s established language. Moving forward, he plans to focus on more conceptual pieces while simultaneously expanding the brand’s commercial presence via its popular Classics line of logo T-shirts and hoodies. Beginning May 18, Hood by Air will take over the Scion AV Installation space in Los Angeles, where they will display fresh visuals (a preview debuts here, below) and offer limited-edition items, including a new range of backpacks.

After the talk, Oliver gave Style.com a sneak peek at the unreleased wares. “We are reworking some of our printed shirts in new colors that are less goth and more varsity. We took away all the darkness and made more of an Americana situation,” he said. “We’re curating the whole space to feel like high-school locker rooms—I’m feeling a Varsity Blues moment right now.”

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