Ollie Hynd GB Photoshoot ()Ollie Hynd GB Photoshoot () © Copyright

Americana Rama

As swimmer Ollie Hynd arrives for our Americana-inspired shoot it’s clear he is a man who knows his clothes. He arrives wearing more contemporary American clothing: a black, Thrasher Skateboard Magazine hoody and pair of adidas Yeezy 350s. A baseball cap conceals his bleached blond undercut. 

The Yeezy 350s were last year’s most desired sneaker, the near impossible-to-find adidas collaboration with Kanye West, which people queued round the block for. How’d you managed to get those, mate? “I paid resale.” He says, sheepishly “And yeah, it was kinda steep.” He’s referring to the secondary sneaker market. Resellers buy the shoes from the stores, then sell them on, unworn, to sneaker enthusiasts, usually via eBay and increasingly over Instagram. 

Ollie Hynd GB Photoshoot ()

Shirt £150 Kenzo at Flannels // Jeans £65 FCUK // Belt £155 Versus Versace at Flannels // Shoes £120 Garment Project at Flannels // Ring £8.50 Topman

As well as swimming, Ollie Hynd is into clothes. He’s of a new, digital generation of fashion obsessives who scour style editorial websites like Hypebeast, and flick through Instagram for news and inspiration. As well as Kanye’s adidas line (he has a second pair of Yeezys at home), he mentions designers Rick Owens, Jerry Lorenzo and Kanye’s affiliate Virgil Abloh – who runs cult clothing brand Off-White – as his favourite designers.

“Streetwear’s becoming high fashion,” Hynd proclaims. “It’s more blurred than ever before. I saw an interview with Virgil. He said that growing up, Supreme was his Louis Vuitton, and he’s managing to really elevate his stuff to stand alongside that.”

Ollie Hynd GB Photoshoot ()

Top £110 PS by Paul Smith at Flannels // Jeans £65 FCUK // Watch £395 Tissot // Glasses £98 Ray-Ban at eyewearbrands.com // Ring £8.50 Topman

Luxury streetwear is usually available in extremely limited quantities. It’s also primarily sold in New York, Tokyo, Shanghai, London, Paris and a handful of other major world cities. This mean that Ollie – who lives and trains in Nottingham – often faces difficulties sourcing the clothes.

“Some of the more Hype releases,” he explains, “we miss out on in Nottingham. There’s not a Selfridges or a Harvey Nics or anything, we travel to Birmingham for that stuff. There’s an Offspring, where I picked up a pair of adidas NMDs, the low ones, in triple white.”

Ollie Hynd GB Photoshoot ()

Shirt £105 Hugo by Hugo Boss at Flannels // Sunglasses £16 River Island

Conversation turns to The Life Of Pablo, the heavily anticipated Kanye West album which came out earlier this year. Ollie says that he’s long been a fan of Kanye’s music and Kanye’s forays into fashion further sparked Ollie’s own interest.

“I guess it all kinda grew. Style’s an easy thing to follow. It’s cool that there’re sites who cover everything. If you see Kanye or Bieber wearing a jacket, you can quite quickly check where it came from. Some of my friends are into clothes, some are not so much – that’s why the internet’s great; I’m always on Instagram getting inspiration from like-minded people.”

Ollie Hynd GB Photoshoot ()

T-shirt £55 Boss Orange at Flannels // Ring £8.50 Topman

Anyway, enough talk of clothes. Ollie Hynd’s got some swimming to do. The Paralympics begin in Rio at the start of September. “It’s pretty intense right now,” he says. “A typical week for me would be nine sessions in the pool, and two gym sessions. It adds up to about about 50,000 metres in the pool and about 24 hours of training a week in total. So it’s pretty intense, a lot of early mornings and a lot of hours spent in the gym or staring at the black line on the bottom of the pool, but hopefully it’ll all be worth it in the summer.”

In the weeks building up to the competition, Hynd’s work will taper as his programme attempts to strike a balance between physical conditioning and the need to be fresh to compete.

Ollie Hynd GB Photoshoot ()

Top £79 APC at Flannels // Jacket £160 G Star Raw at USC // Jeans £90 Nudie Jeans at Flannels // Shoes £49.99 Converse at USC // Sunglasses £92 Ray-Ban at £92 at sunglasses-shop.co.uk        

“Two or three weeks before Rio, it’ll start to come down slowly – we’re going into a taper period, where it’s about maximising the training we’ve done, but also getting the rest. So a balance of not losing fitness, but being fresh. It’s difficult because we’ve been so used to go, go, go, that bringing it down sometimes can make you feel a bit sluggish, so it can be deceptive and you start to feel unfit, even though you obviously aren’t.

“We fly out to Rio right at the beginning of September, and the Games start on the 8th. So we’ll be in Brazil for about a week before it starts, but we’re going to do a few late preparations in London at the Aquatics Centre, so we’re all going to come together there as a team and train at the aquatics centre for a while, before we head out to Rio.”

Ollie Hynd GB Photoshoot ()

Shirt, £55, and Jacket, £80, both Duck and Cover // Jeans £119.95 Scotch & Soda // Sunglasses £235 Tom Ford at Flannels

Will there be any time for sightseeing? “I actually got the opportunity to go to Rio a year and a half ago so got to do the tourist things then. I got to see Christ The Redeemer, Sugarloaf Mountain, the Maracanã – it was cool to see it, and get all of that out of the way, so when we get there, I’m just focused on racing and not thinking about the other stuff.”

Ollie Hynd GB Photoshoot ()

Shirt £595 Dolce and Gabbana at Flannels // Trousers £30 River Island // Belt £18 River Island // Shoes £105 Ted Baker // Sunglasses £78 Ray Ban at sunglasses-shop.co.uk 

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