SHAYNE OLIVER’S HOOD BY AIR
By Naomi Barling
A big Congratulations to Shayne Oliver! Last night The Council of Fashion Designers of America honored the founder of Hood By Air with the Swarovski Award for Menswear. Oliver was up for the award last year but lost to Tim Coppens, but this year Oliver beat out Orley’s Alex Orley and Ovadia & Sons’ Ariel and Shimon Ovadia for the award.
Oliver made his red carpet entrance with Binx linked on his arm. Dressed head to toe in HBA and going against the event’s more formal gowns for a deconstructed shorts suit, choker and chunky heeled boots.
Oliver and his brand have defined a generation in fashion with its radically queer aesthetic and innovative and eclectic aesthetic. Their CFDA recognition shows a major shift in attitudes toward creativity and mens style.
Hood by Air was founded in 2006, the brand is a merging of an ensemble of artists that work in fashion, experimental music, image making, nightlife, and performance all under the creative direction of Oliver.
Their work is grounded in radical experimentation of the body as an art form, seeing it as a limitless canvas that allows us to express our own identity and meaning. They imagine new possibilities for subjectivity liberated us from sticking to the normal. Relying on strategies such as appropriation and giving out samples, Hood by Air’s work subverts traditional divisions between art and commerce.
The driving idea behind HBA is something Oliver calls “youth excellence.” “Creativity may be the province of youth, but a lot of ideas that young kids have take so long. And then, by that time, it’s old and people have to do everything in a museum way.” The challenge for HBA was to try and turn the crazy energy of youth and throw their ideas directly into consumer culture.
There’s the element of femininity, an element of masculinity, an element of both, and the element of celebration. The brand is breaking down all rules regarding sexuality, and letting their followers be free.
HBA won last nights Swarovski Award for Menswear and we look forward to seeing what this new found recognitions brings.