This year signaled the end of Shayne Oliver’s cult New York label, Hood by Air. The shuttering of his brand was far from the end for the titillating designer who was quickly tapped by Helmut Lang’s new editor-in-residence, Isabella Burley.
With Burley in-house and Oliver helming new collections, the brand made its return to New York Fashion Week. Celebrated for his outsider approach and subversive designs, Oliver’s appointment was arguably a play to funnel some millennial spirt into Lang’s enduring vision. The Austrian designer left his eponymous brand in 2005 and has since become one of the most influential fashion minds of this era.
In a recent interview with Vogue, Burley explained how Oliver’s collections would seek to capitalize on Lang’s legacy rather than moving away from his vision. “I want to introduce Helmut Lang to a new generation of kids so that they can respond to the legacy in their own way,” she said.
Presenting a tightly edited collection that drew from Oliver’s gritty, New York-centric club kid aesthetic and Lang’s sexualized minimalism, the brand’s return show seems to check all of the boxes. However, his longterm impact at the storied house remains to be seen.
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