A new era emerges for designer Shayne Oliver, who took a hiatus from his established brand, Hood By Air, just a month ago. Despite its initial launch in 2004 and being Oliver’s pride and joy, HBA was relaunched in 2022. However, the designer has moved onward to grander endeavors with the Shayne Oliver Group. The first project to emerge from his new venture is an immersive exhibition titled the Mall Of Anonymous. The exhibition is set to unveil on August 11, 2023, in Berlin, the home base of the Shayne Oliver Group.
The exhibition is a mixture of Oliver’s personal experiences, traumas, and intriguing nods to mall culture. It will live at the Schinkel Pavillon, which will be transformed into a “two-and-a-half-store walk-in sculpture,” as stated by the Shayne Oliver Group. Each section of the sculpture will represent one of the three brands under the Shayne Oliver Group, set to launch by March 2024: Shayne Oliver, a high-end fashion label; Anonymous Club, a collaborative project-based label; and As Seen by Shayne Oliver (ASSO), an elevated basics label.
Photography, film, and samples from each sub-brand will showcase the distinct identity of each label. Oliver collaborates with curators Fredi Fischli and Niels Olsen to help curate this exhibition. This new chapter away from HBA is precisely what we needed to see from Oliver after nearly two decades of working on the same brand. He’s a multifaceted artist, just like many designers who may feel restricted by the corporate politics of fashion. Although he relaunched HBA in 2022 with business partner Edison Chen, he later stepped down due to creative differences. He expressed to BoF, “Focusing solely on T-shirts was not in line with my vision; I appreciate things that are highly accessible, but I also value high-end concepts.”
Alongside mall culture references, the exhibition explores the labyrinthine nature of our minds. It portrays the various headspaces where ideas are born, captured in both functional and nightmarish displays. One of the sculptures features a mother and child split in half, symbolizing Oliver’s dual experience with his challenging upbringing and the embrace of his background. Throughout the exhibition, metaphorical works like this exist, adding depth and meaning to the artistic journey.
The Mall of Anonymous is on view August 11, 2023 to September 2, 2023 at the Schinkel Pavillon in Berlin.