Look of Genesis: Becoming HOOD BY AIR
Hood by Air (est. 2007) enters its teen years with H13A, an overture to the newly revived brand’s upcoming Genesis collection, seen here by JACUZZI.
When the Hood by Air's resurrection was announced in summer 2020, it was during a season of digital fashion weeks delivered through QR codes and videos optimized for social media. DIY assemble-at-home packages and live-streamed programming were curated to showcase designers’ vast and multivalent creative networks – or at least, quick-assembled to message them. Hood by Air, meanwhile, reappeared after a hiatus since spring 2017 with Uprising: a community initiative launched with a t-shirt and cash card capsule, distributed via the HBA direct-to-consumer platform, and with all proceeds benefiting non-profits Black Trans Femmes in the Arts, Emergency Release Fund, and Gays and Lesbians Living In A Trans Society.
Appearing on garments and campaign imagery was the tagline “Racially charged since 2007,” referring to the year of the brand’s birth “out of young, black, and POC creatives performing at the highest level,” as Hood by Air founder SHAYNE OLIVER described it in a statement. Community-driven since its very inception, the New York fashion label could have come back this year exactly as it was when it pressed pause and still been ahead of the proverbial “times.” But the brand evolved anyway.
Promotional materials for Uprising also featured a single-word teaser: “Genesis” – the title of Hood by Air’s imminent next collection, which will be gradually revealed through a two-part film project of the same name. A prelude to Genesis takes form as H13A, an interim drop that recontextualizes themes from the first incarnation of the now 13-year-old Hood by Air alongside new motifs such as the MATRIX logo – an homage, maybe, to the Wachowski sisters’ millennial film franchise.
H13A is curated by MUSEUM, one of a trinity of connected but distinct projects that together form Hood by Air’s return. Within Oliver’s brand-as-network, the above mentioned HBA is the distribution platform; MUSEUM is the new archival arm, serving as a vector for re-mobilizing the brand’s history; and ANONYMOUS CLUB is an incubator of sorts, designed to support the “cultivation of emerging talents” that orbit and evolve the whole. Each of these four branches distills a function already inherent to the Hood by Air ethos of world-building, and the label’s longstanding interest in creating visual language and connectivity – processes shaped by evolving digital and mobile technologies.