Pret-a-Reporter

Hood by Air Builds Its L.A. Show on Sand

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Designer Shayne Oliver says his MADE LA presentation, which featured a mountain of sand, was produced with his fans in mind: "It was about giving the energy back to the people that consume the clothing."

If fashion show-goers were looking to see an unconventional presentation from Hood by Air's show at MADE LA — WME/IMG's two-day fashion, music and art event held at L.A. Live this weekend — that's precisely what they got late Saturday afternoon.

Instead of a traditional runway, HBA founder Shayne Oliver introduced his "Hallways" capsule collection atop a mountain of sand that generated fog from beneath, with strobe lights flashing throughout the show. Models — clad in pieces that included an oversized hoodie, a crewneck pullover with elongated sleeve details and wide-leg PVC pants — walked and rolled around the granular surface, shoving one another and throwing sand at each other as musician Yves Tumor (nee Sean Bowie) performed and chanted "HBA" repeatedly.

Oliver, who's never one to go the conventional route (whether in presentation or design), organized his latest spectacle with his fans in mind.

"It was about giving the energy back to the people that consume the clothing, sort of like memories outside of sending looks down the runway and trying to sell them clothes," he tells Pret-a-Reporter post-show.

"I feel these days — I'm not discrediting anyone that does really great stuff — but when it comes to ready-to-wear, sometimes it just feels like you're being told how to look and what to wear all the time and it doesn't give back," continues the designer, who counts Kanye West, Justin Bieber and Kendrick Lamar as the label's fans. "And I felt like this gave back. If people are spending money on the clothing, why not give them a show?"

Adds Oliver: "It was a good time to try something new out because we've been wanting to do something like this — it's the right place to do it. Los Angeles is much more free so it just felt right."

After the show, the "Hallways" range became immediately available for pre-order on hoodbyair.com. When asked about the growing popularity of the "see-now, buy-now" model that a number of labels are testing out, the New York-based creative says, "I feel I always want to be part of what's happening in fashion because Hood by Air is sort of a commentary on fashion, so Hood by Air is almost in reaction to things that are happening in fashion. I also want to have a core part of the brand stay very true to the DNA. So basically focusing on my DNA and making my DNA available for people to purchase whenever."

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