Hood By Air, one of fashion’s most beloved brands and a powerful symbol of the young New York avant-garde, officially announced its return last summer, though it turned out less like a real one. return and more like a multi-part fashion theater piece in which each curtain raises a new narrative in the brand’s quest for fashion domination.
The first chapter of this era continues today, with the release of a new collection called Veteran, the next step in the brand’s eponymous “Prologue” era, which HBA entered upon its relaunch.
“The inspiration behind Veteran is pretty straightforward,” says designer Shayne Oliver GQ. “This collection aims to cleanse the palate and introduce a fresh and consistent taste into the meaning of a ‘dress code’. In Between H13A and further into the full era of Genesis’ prologue, this collection also serves as a luxury precursor in the form of a uniform. (H13A is a project launched late last summer to create a living archive of designs released by the brand over its 13-year history.)
The HBA uniform playing here is that of the surveillance state – a T-shirt bears the image of a dizzying pile of surveillance cameras, with the word “PIG” underneath; a sublime blousy nylon hoodie bears the image of a police badge modified with the language of Hood By Air; and a pair of layered cargo shorts, like the ones cops wear in the summer, have a bubble on the crotch. (Of course, HBAs are made from fine Italian twill instead of polyester.) It’s a classic expression of Oliver’s taste for revengeful appropriation of fashion, following one of the primary rules of the HBA Art of War: Don your enemy’s face – or tactical cargo shorts – to defeat them.
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