Hood By Air's Street Smarts

New York-based designer Shayne Oliver is leading the pack of luxury streetwear brands. Inspired by his love for urban styling, Oliver’s Hood By Air line delivers some hustle and flow for the modern hipster looking for a new sense of luxury.

Oliver’s third collection, “Gigilow,” explores the allure of the working male—whether a stockbroker or a drug-dealer—who sells himself to a job for the sake of money, sex and power. The spring/summer ’09 collection naturally takes a turn for the sexual and the dark. Denim pants with flash zipper detailing are worn as baggy, deeply pleated shorts or pants with black patent paneling, while denim vests and jackets are layered over jersey tees emblazoned with phrases such as “Sleaze Please.” White cotton button up shirts boasting multiple collar lines call to mind an urban Karl Lagerfeld, yet the true standout comes in the form of a black crewneck sweatshirt punctuated by brass eyelets adorning the sleeves—a look that perfectly encompasses Hood By Air’s casual confidence and edgy-sleaze aesthetic.

Oliver pulls from his education at both FIT and NYU, while working within the sensibility of his urban upbringing. Initially a sweatshirt collection, Hood By Air continues to evolve in its social approach to fashion designs. Oliver’s inspirations range from art, design and dance to the real life he leads. “I have always been interested in design, but Hood By Air is a statement more than anything,” he says. “I’m still honing my skills for other fashion endeavors and art projects.”

Leaning toward expanding the brand into the lifestyle market, Oliver also has plans to launch a streetwear division of his line called CLASSICS and to explore a more unisex feel to fashion in the future. Available at leading urban retailers such as Oak, Seven New York and Harvey Nichols, this is one new designer giving some serious cred to high-end streetwear.

For more information, visit www.hoodbyair.com.

—Kyle Landman

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