Retail in Asia


EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW with Heron Preston : Fashion is culture


HBX focuses on brands that tell a strong story through their products, whether it’s the intricacies within the construction or the boundary pushing ideas that are displayed through creative direction.

HBX is the commercial extension of HYPEBEAST, founded in 2005, a leading content-creating platform that showcases the best in fashion, art, design and culture.

SEE ALSO : Heron Preston X HBX debuts today

HBX has been launching pop-up activations since May, rolling out pop-up installations at Landmark, Hong Kong, with a series of very well known designers and brands.

Among them, Heron Preston launched an exclusive AIRBORNE capsule collection available at the pop-up store only for a limited period of time.

Heron Preston is the true embodiment of an artist born in the post-internet generation. Multifaceted and genre-bending, he has become a cultural icon in youth culture, known for his bold aesthetics. Preston now functions as an artist, creative director, content creator, designer and DJ; the one common thread among his impressive bodies of work is a commitment to innovation, experimentation and unpredictability.

His signature style has earned him collaborations with the likes of Virgil Abloh. He has also served as the global digital producer for Nike and of course, creative consultant to Kanye West, most notably on his work for the Life of Pablo and Yeezy fashion label.

The exclusive AIRBORNE capsule was designed to represent Heron’s physical journey from traveling from West to East, all across the globe. While spending time across many different airports, Heron took special attention to elements often overlooked in one’s personal journeys, and re-contextualized them as fashionable graphics, completely designed and narrated in his signature colourways and symbols.

“The idea was travel theme – to me this signifies the unity between the West and the East.” said Heron Preston.

The installation, as one of the highlights, re-imagined the capsule’s concept by rebuilding a TSA checkpoint –– something that all travelers are familiar with while travelling from city to city ––, designed in combination with the collection.

Retail in Asia met Heron Preston at the HBX pop-up store and asked him about his collaboration with HBX, his future plans, and his opinion on the cultural wave of streetwear designers, who have been dominating the fashion scene lately.

RiA : What are the commonalities between Heron Preston and HBX which led to this collaboration?

Heron : HBX has always been a huge supporter of my work and vision. They have followed me and my work for the past 10 years, even before I even had a collection. You could say we are simply completing the circle with this collaboration that was long due. This collection is like the corollary of 10 amazing years of relationship.

RiA : What is the concept behind the exclusive collection you have designed for this pop-up? What is the inspiration behind it?

Heron : At the core of the collection lies travel, it is the theme around which all the items have been designed. I have travelled a lot in my life. If you look at the past 3 weeks, I have already travelled twice. This collection is therefore a simple reflection of my lifestyle. In it, I wanted to highlight the overlooked elements throughout someone’s journey in an airport.

For instance, the security prohibited items you cannot get on the plane, which here become a graphic. My goal was to take these elements and re-depictualize them as fashion statements.

Beside the security art work, I also recreated the stickers you always get on your passport while entering a country and we handed them out to fans who came today. Another source of inspiration was the amenity kit you receive on business class flights with all the essentials one might need such as toothbrush, toothpaste, lotions… This is basically the whole concept of the collection: my life as a designer who travels a lot.

Source : HBX

RiA : Since this pop-up is here in HK, where do you think fashion in Asia is going? Are we going towards a lifestyle and very refreshing seasonal collection rather than the ten collection per year?

Heron : Yes, fashion is moving fast. There is currently a taste for newness in the industry which is only growing. Our shoppers, consumers, and fans are just yearning and hankering for more products and greater stories. Everything we know is moving at a hectic and incredible pace.

RiA : As a 360° artist, where would you position fashion within creative industries? What is your contribution to arts and how is it different from fashion?

Heron : It is more than just fashion for me. My logo says style.

Style is universal, it means so much to so many people around the world and you don’t necessarily have to work in fashion to have style.

Arts, to me, is a celebration of life and lifestyle, which is why I also play music and DJ. I see myself as someone having many interests in all the various creative industries from art to music or fashion. That is how I like to identify myself and how I contribute to the world. It is not just a fragment but a whole entire experience.

RiA : You have had many collaborations overs the years but what would you say defines the success behind them, what represents them the most?

Heron : Authenticity and connection to culture. I traveled a lot and met so many people around the world. I threw parties almost everywhere and people always had a good time.

There are a lot of products around, and it is hard to stand out. My plan was to sell experiences instead of products. These clothes are a living proof and incarnation of my life, my stories. That is the most authentic approach one can have in my opinion and it is what I aimed at. I wish to stay true to myself, my design, and my customers to be as authentic and meaningful as possible.

RiA : So what is next for you?

Heron : I have presented my fourth collection in Paris last June. I am working on a few more for this year. I am really excited about them and wished I could tell you more about it but you will unfortunately have to wait to discover them.

RiA : You had a collaboration with Virgil Abloh that we have seen joining hands with LV which lets us think luxury seems to be moving towards streetwear and more lifestyle. What is your view on this?

Heron : It is interesting. Luxury is now moving away from all the attention to details and amazing tailoring and going more into impact and culture related matters. Look at the Supreme collaboration. Everybody talks about it due to its cultural impact. It is not about the amazing tailoring of the suits or the clothes and garment. It is all about what is culturally impacting the world.

As a matter of fact, the CEO of LV said it himself: “Virgil has a type of cultural impact that has not been witnessed before. ”

SEE ALSO : BX announces an official partnership with G-SHOCK

This is a trend we are observing everywhere. Looking at the upcoming CFDA awards, the top 3 menswear designers which were nominated were Virgil, Raf Simons, and James Jebbia. None of them are fashion designers. Indeed, Virgil was trained as an architect, not a fashion designer and neither was Raf Simons. James Jebbia, founder of Supreme, also claims not to be one. And Raf Simons and James Jebbia were among the winners.

This goes to show you how cultural impact is now what makes the difference in the industry and I believe we will keep on observing this trend in the coming years.

We look forward to Heron’s new collections and to his next trip to Asia.