A new exhibition, announced today, will ‘merge the legacy and future’ of Shayne Oliver, the agenda-setting American designer who founded Hood by Air alongside Raul Lopez in 2006. ‘Technically speaking, “The Mall of Anonymous” will mark the beginning of a new chapter in Oliver’s work and career,’ read the statement.
Titled ‘Mall of Anonymous‘ and taking place at Berlin’s Schinkel Pavillon this August, the exhibition coincides with the launch of the Shayne Oliver Group – a trio of brands which will be available from this summer to March 2024. These comprise eponymous label Shayne Oliver, the most high-end of the trio, Anonymous Club, a collaborative, project-based collective and As Seen by Shayne Oliver (ASSO), which is described as ’a label for elevated and twisted basics’.
Shayne Oliver’s ‘Mall of Anonymous’ at Schinkel Pavillon, Berlin
Befitting the exhibition‘s title, ‘Mall of Anonymous’ will double as a retail space, turning the Berlin gallery into a ’two-and-a-half-store walk-in sculpture’ conceived by Oliver alongside curators Fredi Fischli and Niels Olsen. Each of the sections will celebrate the group’s three new labels, presented for the first time through photography, film and samples. Some products will be available to purchase immediately online.
The American mall is also explored in its more mythic sense, too: ‘shopping malls have not only for decades been a central part of American consumerisms,’ reads the exhibition blurb. ’They were also a meeting place for youth, complex entities in which social hierarchies, the rules of attraction, [and] economic strength were defined. It is the American promise and purgatory, where people grow up and monsters are raving.’
As such, ‘Mall of Anonymous‘ also serves as what Oliver calls an exploration of his own ‘personal experience and trauma... an essential part of the creative process’, likening the mall ‘to the labyrinthic headspace in which ideas are born’. Though the full contents of the exhibition is so-far largely under wraps, the announcement notes that there will be a sculpture of a mother and child ‘split in half’ to represent ‘both his struggle and embrace of his upbringing and background – and the search for new families to work and live with, find comfort, inspiration and maybe even love.’
Oliver’s New York-founded Hood by Air has been hugely influential, positing an inclusive, un-gendered approach fuelled by street and subculture which has shaped fashion’s zeitgeist for the past decade (‘he has not been the advocate or spokesperson for a new trans-embracing, politically awake, outspoken generation, he is its embodiment,’ says Shayne Oliver Group). A protegé of Willy Ninja – a legend of the ballroom and voguing scenes – Oliver emerged from New York’s queer nightlife scene to create the label, which took a hiatus from 2017–2019. Oliver left the collective in 2023; Lopez, meanwhile, has found success with Luar, which won CFDA Accessories Designer of the Year in 2022.
Shayne Oliver Group’s ‘Mall of Anonymous’ will run from 12 August – 2 September 2023 at Schinkel Pavillon, Berlin.
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Jack Moss is the Fashion Features Editor at Wallpaper*. Having previously held roles at 10, 10 Men and AnOther magazines, he joined the team in 2022. His work has a particular focus on the moments where fashion and style intersect with other creative disciplines – among them art and design – as well as championing a new generation of international talent and profiling the industry’s leading figures and brands.
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