ZAC CHING & SHAYNE OLIVER

ZAC CHING & SHAYNE OLIVER

FADE IN:

INT. ROOM 1004, HOTEL HUGO, NEW YORK CITY — EVENING

The setting sun looms over the Hudson River, which shimmers in the distance outside the windows of a 10th-floor room at Hotel Hugo, in Manhattan’s Hudson Square neighborhood. Inside, a king-sized bed outfitted in crisp white sheets is surrounded by slick wooden furniture. ZAC CHING, with fiery orange hair, and SHAYNE OLIVER enter. They drop their bags and immediately head to the bathroom, where each puts on a plush white bathrobe.

CUT TO:

There’s a knock at the door. ZAC opens it, and a waiter enters carrying a tray with fried calamari, a bottle of Prosecco, and two glasses. He places the tray on the bed, exits, and ZAC pops the cork.

ZAC
I remember the first time I saw you, which happened to be on the day I moved here, like nine years ago [in 2006]. It was the first night I went out in New York City.

SHAYNE
At Happy Ending?

ZAC
No, older. Happy Valley, in the Flatiron.

SHAYNE
Yasss. Those days [laughs]. Was it at The Black Bunny?

ZAC
Yes! Was that your party?

SHAYNE
It was. Nasty bunny, disgusting bunny [laughs]

ZAC
I remember you were wearing crazy glasses. This was when you dressed a little street, and a little —

SHAYNE
Golden Girls [laughs].

ZAC
Jeremy Scott designed Happy Valley; the deejay booth was inside a huge disco ball hanging from the ceiling. And now that disco ball is in the David Barton Gym on Astor Place [laughs].

SHAYNE
That club was a turn-up. You literally could do whatever you wanted. I started hosting parties there, but I was too young and wild to keep them going. I didn’t really do drugs, but I did ask for too many bottles.

ZAC
That’s probably why we don’t remember meeting, because we were so drunk!

SHAYNE
Right?! It’s so true [laughs]. It sounds so ‘80s, but everyone from back then is still really close. We’re all like brothers and sisters. It’s so weird how everybody is excelling at such a crazy level now.

ZAC
And none of us imagined any of it would happen.

SHAYNE
Right. I mean at one point, when I was 13, I was help boy at the Roberto Cavalli store. I basically used to hang out there, and they started making me work because I was around all the time. And when you and I first met, I was just starting Hood By Air.

ZAC
Yes. I was doing wholesale for Opening Ceremony, and my intern, Prince, also worked with you.

SHAYNE
I don’t know if he was ‘working’ [laughs] — he played too much — but yeah, he was interning.

ZAC
Prince had the first HBA shirts — the ones with the big ‘A,’ that was kind of reminiscent of Space Invaders. Those are the first pieces I really remember. And the first project you and I worked on together was the movie logo tee concept. Back then, you didn’t have labels in your clothes. I was like: If you want to be a brand, the first thing you need to do is get labels.

SHAYNE
Oh my God [laughs].

ZAC
So we went to a label shop together and left with a box of 500. You’d put a label on everything — you even put some on your H&M jeans [laughs].

SHAYNE
So ridiculous. But in like ‘08, ‘09, that was the vibe.

ZAC
And the labels we got are still the ones in the clothes today. Then, when I was at VFiles and we decided to open a store [in 2013], the first brand I thought of was HBA, because it was the one thing everyone wanted but no one could get.

SHAYNE
It’s true.

ZAC
There was really no way to buy it.

SHAYNE
I mean, should I say it?

ZAC
Say what?

SHAYNE
You brought HBA back! You did.

ZAC
You were deejaying so much —

SHAYNE
At that time, yes, and I was about to transition that into a production company. But then we did a run of HBA t-shirts, shot a lookbook, and, I don’t know, with VFiles it was kind of the right moment. I think it was because the people that wanted it the most —

ZAC
Were the coolest people.

SHAYNE
Basically, yes. So when they grabbed it, everyone else was like what the fuck is that? Then we did custom pieces for A$AP Rocky, and all of a sudden there were a lot of different things happening at once. I kind of went with the flow; it’s not like people had to pull my teeth but —

ZAC
I basically had to do everything for you [laughs]. You didn’t have a showroom or anything. I kept a garbage bag full of HBA samples under my desk.

SHAYNE
Oh my God, girl.

ZAC
Your fax number was my office fax number.

SHAYNE
Oh my God, yes. That was a cute little moment. I mean it was the moment. I was always reluctant because I didn’t want to grow beyond my means. I didn’t want to disappoint. But now that HBA can support itself I can do bigger things.

ZAC
You were able to do what was possible, and now those possibilities are just larger.

SHAYNE
It’s true. And now there’s the idea that is HBA and also the product that is HBA, which is kind of great. That balance is what makes the brand — it’s something that’s really conceptual and also really normal. But our new office is a little stiff.

ZAC
You’re just not an office person.

SHAYNE
I’m really not. I get in at three in the afternoon [laughs], and work until one in the morning. But there was a time that we’d push at the HBA office — chill, drink endless bottles, and leave at five in the morning.

ZAC
The best nights that I can recall are always ones like that — when we don’t actually go anywhere and you end up deejaying on YouTube all night long.

SHAYNE
Oh, no [laughs]. We still go out, too, it’s just not that crazy.

ZAC
It’s not. But in Paris, we party. You’re a different person; you’re headless. Even the way you walk is different — it’s like wider steps, and way faster [laughs].

SHAYNE
We always meet up there. Paris is my party city for sure. I need to be twist as hell.

ZAC
There, you’re still a fucking monster.

CREDITS

Photography byBramble Trionfo

Conversation moderated byAnthony Rotunno

Special thanksHotel Hugo

Zac Ching is the Commercial Director of Hood by Air. Shayne Oliver is the designer of Hood by Air. The current collection is available online and at select retailers.

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THE END