After a three-year hiatus, the cult-favorite label is ready to make its return.
Last year, news of a Hood By Air relaunch sent the internet into a frenzy. But despite several interviews teasing its comeback, the label's creative director and co-founder Shayne Oliver kept details close to his chest. Months — and a world-changing pandemic — later, and we finally have more intel on what to expect from the cult-favorite New York brand.
According to a statement released on its Instagram, Hood by Air's reboot is, indeed, happening, and it will focus on becoming "a vehicle to promote and sponsor young talent."
"In recent years we have seen the creative industries distance themselves further and further from real culture," the post on the brand's Instagram reads. "Radical works have been pushed out by gentrification. The youth have been robbed of the physical and psychological spaces necessary for new ideas to grow. The system is antiquated and we want to replace it with something new. There is another world that needs to be created. We've done it before, and we're doing it again."
Hood by Air originally went on hiatus April 2017, after what can be blamed on both the failures in the American fashion system and on the label's internal dysfunction. But in a recent interview with Ssense, Oliver shared that he needed the break to "re-think our decisions," adding that "things are now more transparent than they've ever been, and that is all due to many conversations that have, and still are, happening."
An official press release reveals that the new Hood By Air will be split into four "entities": Hood By Air, HBA, Museum and Anonymous Club. Hood By Air will be supported by events and product launches, while HBA will act as a direct-to-consumer platform for various product and retail experiences; Museum is set to offer reworked pieces from the brand's archives and will focus on the inclusion of young BIPOC creatives; finally, the Anonymous Club will serve as a platform for emerging talent.
The brand's return will not, however, come with runway presentations at any fashion week.
"I don't feel the need to be in that conversation," Oliver told Ssense. "I want to remove the brand from the conversation of just fashion in general, and allow it to exist outside of the fashion system, so people can really see I am not trying to prove anything or create a vocabulary for the fashion world."
To coincide with the relaunch news, the brand is releasing a limited edition T-shirt Thursday July 16 as part of Uprising, a charity initiative to support the Black and queer communities. All proceeds from the sales of the shirt will be split and donated to Black Trans Femmes in the Arts, Emergency Release Fund and Gays and Lesbians Living In A Transgender Society.