Photography: Rick Barroso & Tom Sibley
Barneys New York has created its most relevant window to date, filling Manhattan’s Madison Avenue displays with spot-on replicas from Hood By Air’s spring ’16 presentation. Recruiting the talents of Studio UG fabricator Yuji Yoshimoto, the luxury department store recreated six of HBA Creative Director Shayne Oliver’s core muses—Golo, Roman, Brandon, Sunny Chucky and Hirakish—in an effort to breathe life into traditional, dead-eyed mannequins.
The ornate sculptures took six months to complete, as Barneys NY’s site outlines, beginning with a 3D body scan and complex plaster casting for each of Oliver’s models. Once Yoshimoto’s team created a positive mold, the “master mold,” they replicated models’ original features using tinted silicon, human hair brows, custom dentures and lifelike glass eyeballs. Final details included hand-painted tattoos—a daunting undertaking—hair fashioned to resemble Yusef Williams’ original runway wigs and those babycore Dolly Cohen-designed pacifiers.
“I was thinking about the basic idea of pacifiers as fetishizing,” Oliver told Barneys NY. “The orthodonture comes into play from the idea of holding the mouth open. It has a lot to do with willingness and naivety—always having your mouth open; always being accepting.”
The collection, called “Infantile Glamour,” is a signature play on masculinity and femininity, pulling inspiration from ’90s Los Angeles street culture. While this look is embedded in HBA’s brand DNA—something longtime followers can immediately recognize—the polarizing aesthetic will certainly challenge everyday passersby who’ve all become used to less daring presentations from Barneys NY. The fashion this round is provocative and the mannequins cutting edge, but it’s HBA’s diverse casting, led by Walter Pearce, that’s the most progressive in this commercial context. Since Barneys NY has begun visibly redefining outdated beauty ideals, perhaps other main players will follow suit.
“For me, a lot of these guys are the new versions of beauty,” Oliver said. “I think it’s appropriate for them to be on pedestals in this way, and it’s really cool that Barneys took time to appreciate and expose these individuals in this way and to this extent through this replication. It’s truly groundbreaking.”
See behind-the-scenes photos, below: