Empire Finally Gets A Clothing Line, & It's Awesome

Photo: Courtesy of Hood By Air.
Whether it's Cookie Lyon-inspired get-ups or Andre's sharp suits, Empire gives us many fashion moments to obsess over week after week. But the show wasn't delivering its signature style in the real world with, say, an Empire-inspired clothing line. To remedy that, Hood By Air has created the first official line of Empire merchandise, which, Vogue reveals, has launched today on the brand's website.
The series has been on Hood by Air's radar for a while now: Designer Shayne Oliver first referenced Empire at his fall '15 ready-to-wear show back in February, in the form of voice-overs by Taraji P. Henson (a.k.a. Cookie) in the pre-show soundtrack. In a case of art-imitates-life, some characters started sporting Hood By Air on Empire's second season.

For spring '16, Oliver gave a nod to Cookie on the runway, in the form of tufted pillow-shaped backpacks. (Plus, Lee Daniels, Empire's co-creator, and Bryshere Y. Gray, who plays Hakeem Lyon, were in attendance at Oliver's show.) Backstage, Oliver teased a possible HBA/Empire collaboration to Mashable (which Daniels later confirmed). Finally, this back-and-forth has materialized, and the results look good.

The collection is a marriage of the Empire universe and the styles and silhouettes Oliver recalls from his own upbringing, he told Vogue. So the likeness of characters like Cookie, Hakeem, and Jamal, along with popular phrases ("I want what's mine" being a notable one) are translated onto staple Hood By Air silhouettes — sweatshirts, T-shirts, and shorts, plus bodysuits and mesh dresses. In true HBA form, there are a few objects that are more novelty than actually meant to be worn — a branded Champagne glass, for instance. (This was designed by the man who brought us Bic lighter earrings, after all.)

The 40-item collection is available now on Hood By Air's website. Prices start at $15 for a key ring, and cap off at $300 for the backpack. Check out a selection of items, ahead.
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Photo: Courtesy of Hood By Air.
"Name’s Cookie. Ask about me."

Hood By Air x Empire Snitchin Sweatshirt. For a similar style, try:

Hood By Air x Empire Snitchin Tee, $100, available at Hood By Air.
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Photo: Courtesy of Hood By Air.
"For me, IT'S ALL ABOUT COOKIE!," Oliver said in a press release, adding that he and his friends "know every look, scene, and catchphrase by heart."

Hood By Air x Empire Victory Maxi, $200, available at Hood By Air.
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Photo: Courtesy of Hood By Air.
Keeping it in the family.

Hood By Air x Empire All In The Family LS Tee, $120, available at Hood By Air.
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Photo: Courtesy of Hood By Air.
Rep your favorite member of Empire Entertainment — Hakeem, Becky, Jamal, Lucious, and of course Cookie got the Hood By Air treatment.

Hood By Air x Empire G Pose Hoodie, $200, available at Hood By Air.
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Photo: Courtesy of Hood By Air.
That moment when Cookie attempted to suffocate Lucious left a mark on Oliver. He told Vogue, “When we saw that moment, we were literally screaming, like, ‘No, she’s not going to take it there!’”

Hood By Air x Empire Pillow Backpack, $300, available at Hood By Air.
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Photo: Courtesy of Hood By Air.
The Lyon family, always making headlines.

Hood By Air x Empire Empire News Dress, $120, available at Hood By Air.
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Photo: Courtesy of Hood By Air.
Naomi Campbell's Camilla Marks, immortalized in a sweatshirt.

Hood By Air x Empire Mother LS Tee, $120, available at Hood By Air.
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Photo: Courtesy of Hood By Air.
For sipping Champagne — or for letting it all out during a heated argument.

Hood By Air x Empire Po' Up Glass, $40, available at Hood By Air.
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Photo: Courtesy of Hood By Air.
It's always a family affair in the world of Empire.

Hood By Air x Empire All In The Family LS Tee, $120, available at Hood By Air.
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Photo: Courtesy of Hood By Air.
Carry an infamous piece of Empire with you.

Hood By Air x Empire Pillow Backpack, $300, available at Hood By Air.
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