Streetwear brand Hood by Air will go on hiatus

Models walk the catwalk during Hood by Air’s spring/summer 2017 fashion presentation at New York Fashion Week in September 2016.
(Giannoni/WWD/REX/Shutterstock / Giannoni/WWD/REX/Shutterstock)

Hood by Air is putting things on pause.The streetwear brand and collective, which was cofounded by Shayne Oliver and Leilah Weinraub, revealed this afternoon that it would be put on hiatus effective immediately.

Oliver will concentrate on his new role at Helmut Lang, where he will create a special men’s and women’s collection that will be unveiled in September. The designer canceled his Paris women’s fashion show this past February.

Weinraub, who was the company’s chief executive officer, will focus on filmmaking and her directorial career with her project “Shakedown,” which is featured in the Whitney Biennial and debuted in May.

Oliver, who spent his childhood in Trinidad but moved to Brooklyn during his formative years, started producing Hood by Air T-shirts in 2007. He took a break from the brand in 2008 but reintroduced the line in 20012 as a lifestyle collection. It quickly gained a cult following with celebrities including Kanye West, A$AP Rocky and Rihanna, who wore his pieces.


The fashion world followed and was taken with his subversive runway shows and fluid fashion. Oliver was nominated as a finalist in 2014 for the LVMH Young Designers Award and showed his men’s collection at Pitti Uomo in 2015. He helped usher in the luxury streetwear category that’s still pushing retail today.

Signs that the brand wasn’t doing well began to emerge once Oliver cancelled his women’s show in Paris this past February. Since launching the brand Oliver has refused outside investments.

“I want to emulate businesses of heritage luxury brands like Prada and Louis Vuitton,” Oliver previously told WWD. “They are fashion concepts that came out of the necessity of products, like Vuitton luggage. I see logo shirts as the necessity that built this brand, and I want to stay true to what we’re known for.”

He might be able to do that at Helmut Lang, a brand Oliver has long admired, where he will have more resources and support.