Around the World With Hood By Air-------
By now, it’s been established that New York-based Hood by Air has become a cult favorite. And, considering his smorgasbord of upcoming projects, founder and designer Shayne Oliver has proven that the streetwear line is no fleeting niche sensation. Last weekend, Hood by Air launched Morph—a conceptual pop-up in L.A.’s Scion AV Installation space that marked the brand’s West Coast retail debut. The shop’s Saturday opening—which was attended by diehard HBA fan, and the star of Oliver’s Fall ’13 show, A$AP Rocky—doubled as the launch of an eight-piece made-to-order luggage capsule. Running between $800 to $2,500, the range includes a black leather backpack with clever ball-and-chain detailing and a skeletal fetish-inspired latex hiking bag (left). “It’s subversive luxury luggage,” Oliver told Style.com. “The line has to do with me playing more with the actual realm of luxury. With these bags, I’m confronting that sense head-on and feeling things out for myself.”
The travel accessories are just one facet of Hood by Air’s expansion beyond its signature “ghetto goth” sweatshirts and tees. On June 16, an HBA knitwear capsule will land at Selfridges department store in London. The unveiling of a denim line at New York’s Milk Studios will follow in September. And during the Spring ’14 Paris shows, Oliver will introduce suits and jackets as part of the label’s move into formal menswear. No doubt, big things are happening for the 25-year-old designer, who launched HBA in 2006. But the talent is humbled by his growing fan base’s veritable obsession with the label. “I take it as a nod to what I’m doing,” he said. “I’m just building an aesthetic, and a brand, and a place for myself in fashion. I don’t quite know how to take it, because I’m shy. I just see it as gratitude.”
Hood by Air’s Morph will be open through June 16 at the Scion AV Installation space, 7667 Melrose Avenue, Los Angeles, CA 90046.