Interview: Hood By Air's Shayne Oliver on His Inspiration, Kanye West, and How He Challenges Himself

Interview: Hood By Air's Shayne Oliver on His Inspiration, Kanye West, and How He Challenges Himself

The Hood By Air show was the event that no one wanted to miss this New York Fashion Week. After A$AP Rocky closed the label's official NYFW debut last season, no one wanted to miss whatever was going to pop off this year, and the lobby of Milk Studio was mobbed well before the show's 12pm start time. After the wild spectacle ended, and everyone got their iPhone pics of Kanye, we headed backstage to speak with designer Shayne Oliver.

Can you describe the inspiration behind this season's collection?
I guess I got a lot of inspiration wihle traveling and stuff like that. But it also means I kind of like came back to American roots so I kind of like played around with everything that’s actually American like industrialization and that sort of thing and made it into like a graphic story so it’s like sports, power, like all that sort of things, kind of wrapped into one and made into this one, I don’t know, graphic or a font.

Venus and Serena?
Right! Exactly so those sort of things.

From a particular time
Just like a feeling, it was just a feeling that I had, I felt like homesick and also I understood more what America means to the World so I decided to play around with the denims, the t-shirts, and like what does that mean, how do you make it new, you know all that sort of things.

And in terms of the actual show, what have you learned from the debut show last season that you mixed in with this season.
I don’t know. I was just like well, this summer I decided I was going to relax a little more because it was like so hectic last summer, it was such a new situation so now I feel a bit more at home. So I think I feel like it just felt a bit more relaxed.

How are you feeling now that the show is done?
I feel great, I feel cool.

Relieved?
Yea definitely. I’m like happy to just chill and be relaxed.

Are you going to party and celebrate or chill?
Nah. Chilling. I haven’t had sleep yet so I need to do that.

What do you think of Kanye showing up?
I think it’s cool. We’re all intertwined so it's sort of a fam situation like that so it was cool.

Are you already working on the fall/winter collection?
Yeah, we’re already working on that. Today was just a release. I don’t like hype or whatever and now we’re going to really start doing a very regimented business structure that actually pushes the brand in a certain direction. It’s not necessarily a mainstream direction; it’s just more of like a product-heavy and product-based collection. Today is kind of like, "Let it out," and it’s all going to be pulled back this fall and winter.

And last season was very abstract—not stuff you would see people wearing on the street. This year was brought back in to more wearable so is that what you mean with continuing on?
Yeah, I was just like, let me challenge myself and see what I can do in these boundaries of what a T-shirt means and what a jean means and play around with it, as opposed to going all wild because you can’t do that all the time. 

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Tags: hood-by-air, shayne-oliver, new-york-fashion-week
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