HBA Debuts Collection Inspired by Jamaica’s Marginalized: Pictures from the PH & HBA book
Earlier this year, NYC label Hood By Air teamed up with Pieter Hugo, the South African photographer known for his images of African communities, such as Nigeria’s “Hyena Men”, on a book. The result of a collaboration between Hugo and stylist Carlos Nazario, PH & HBA brought together a series of powerful photographs of Jamaica’s male porn stars and “gully queens” (a group of marginalised LGBT people in Kingston who live in a gully or drain beneath the city) wearing archive Hood By Air.
Now, the brand and the photographer have taken their collaboration a step further by debuting a capsule collection called “Galvanize Jamaica”. Available to purchase from Hood By Air’s website, the collection features seven oversized tees printed with pictures from the book.
The images themselves were created by Hugo and Nazario, who is a long-time Hood By Air collaborator, over two trips to Jamaica in December 2015 and January 2016.
“That’s what brought us to a broader exploration of male sexuality, in particular West Indian and Jamaican male sexuality – and complicating that...” Hugo says in an in-conversation between him and Nazario featured in PH & HBA. “Some of the people we met in Jamaica who were not homophobic had problems with the Gully Queens because they make their living off crime. I guess it depends on how one looks at that because a lot of them are forced into a life of crime because there’s no way they could find work in Jamaica.”
“We were also photographing body-builders and good-looking men we found on the street. At first we thought it would be impossible to get Jamaican men to wear HBA clothing because it’s gender-bending and risqué, and I think our experience there was very contrary to that.”
Originally published in Dazed Digital