Shayne Oliver is one of the first disrupters of the high fashion industry. In 2006 Shayne Oliver launched Hood By Air, an a-gender fashion line known for the ‘realness’ of the clothes, designed for the often unseen and underrepresented queer population in New York. The gender nonspecific line resonated in youth culture beyond even he could have imagined, it quickly began to sell and it made him an instant sensation.
The success may have caught the budding designer off guard, last year Shayne Oliver announced he would take a step back from producing collections for his self-funded project and take over the reigns as creative director of Helmut Lang.
In a release Oliver simply stated he would be fully dedicating himself to his new role at Helmut Lang but he vowed to bring back Hood By Air “in the near future.”
In addition to his stint at Helmut Lang, Oliver creates capsule collections for high profile brands, his most recent collaboration is with Longchamp.
Longchamp is a powerhouse company that after seven decades in business and with over 300 boutiques worldwide has remained family-run and privately owned. The brand creates streamlined pieces that are durable and are intended to use.
Longchamp’s Le Pliage bag—which is a foldable tote, primarily made of nylon- gets reimaged each season by a select designer. The past 13 years Longchamp worked with Moschino’s creative director Jeremy Scott. This year, the brand recruited Shayne Oliver to reimage the tote and to create a ready-to-wear and accessories line that characterizes New York.
The new collection plays with the concept of travel. Oliver utilizes his transformative aesthetic and branding techniques to reimagine Longchamp’s iconic Le Pliage tote and ready to wear line in motion.
The words “hiatus” printed in block letters on the totes and garment bags are emblematic, they imply he will one day reopen his own label “Hood By Air”.
The Longchamp by Shayne Oliver collection opened on May 4th in the US and online, and will debut internationally in early May.