The mentorship and the 100000 euros prize awarded by LVMH to the talent of Shayne Oliver have recognized what youth subculture lies behind the black and white logo HBA. Hood By Air is based as every other brand upon the question or the concept of beauty going behind hyper femininity, hyper masculinity, above the borders of gender. It's about the freedom to be who you want to be, standing for your own personality and your own individuality. If there is one thing this brand wants to stand for it is probably "living your life strong with free will" like Rei Kawakubo could have said. It's about totally embracing freedom and defending it no matter what. Somehow the people who are holding a grudge against Hood by Air don't respect this neo-punk culture that means something to a growing community all around the world. This community does exist and by judging it you are perhaps denying its existence. They have something to say to the world, obviously by the fact of their mere presence in the fashion industry. They have brought something that was missing, something brand new. It may be too early to say that Shayne Oliver has changed the face of the industry but, the industry definitely needed what he is delivering season after season. Hood By Air is more than a streetcore sporty label dedicated to the art of logo and branding. When you order or buy a simple Logo tee, a pair of jeans or a sweater you become part of something really big like a member of a family, not a trivial but a unique one. It's always easy to attack a designer's work by talking about the lack of creativity, the dejà-vu wardrobe etc... The only grudge we had against HBA was the over-exaggerated branding and the lack of tailoring, irremediably coming back to a silhouette composed of a pair of jeans and a tee-shirt. That's the trademark of the label. Yet, Oliver doesn't need these gimmicks any longer. They were there to make the brand known to the world and the three letters are now famous all over the world. These branding goods are part of the diffusion line HBA. There's a strong difference between Hood By Air and HBA and those who don't want to see it are really faking blindness or are just being stupid. The main label goes beyond this archetype of a street brand and of the 90's logo legacy. Apart from the distressed robber masks and the fake grillz with the padlocks, the "Daddy" AW2015 collection is a complete wardrobe with clothes that matter, clothes for awkward heroes, clothes you cannot forget. Remember that the New York Fashion Week is full of wardrobes to forget, to not buy, and is seriously lacking of boldness, of uniqueness and creativity. Here, with Shane Oliver, there is innovation, irreverence, extravagance, magic, sophistication and complexity in the pieces. The wide pleated trousers, the apron camel coats, the embroidered denim suit, the sleeveless suit dress, the cropped biker jackets are tailored pieces we'd love to have in our wardrobe and to wear like basics. These are new additions to the Hood By Air editions. They have a chaos vibe we love because they are not easy to wear. Now you understand why there were a lot of diffusion pieces in his early runways. Oliver feels free to explore what he really cares for, breaking the rules like the idea of the venue of his collection, bringing his no gender thieves army to Wall Street. It's funny how Oliver takes control of a space, giving it a new energy that doesn't fit at the beginning. This act is meaningful when you think of the story of the Wall that was about keeping safe the Dutch community of New Amsterdam from the Native Indians. People have to respect and acknowledge Shane Oliver's community because they have passed over the wall, breaking a lot of doors in the industry.

Pictures by Dillon Sachs via Dazed Digital

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