Leilah Weinraub

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Leilah Weinraub
Born1979 (age 39–40)
Los Angeles, California
Alma materAntioch College, Bard College
Known forHood by Air
Notable work

Leilah Weinraub (born 1979) is an American filmmaker, conceptual artist, and the former CEO of the fashion brand Hood By Air.[1] In 2018 she was named a Sundance Institute Art of Nonfiction Fellow.[2]


Weinraub was born in Los Angeles[3] to an African-American textile designer mother from Compton and a Jewish pediatrician father from Fort Wayne, Indiana.[4]

Weinraub attended one year at an agricultural high school in Israel[5] before returning to the United States and legally emancipating herself from her parents.[4] She later attended Antioch College[6][1] and dropped out of the film program at Bard College.[7]


In 1998 Weinraub met American History X director Tony Kaye while working at the Los Angeles Boutique Maxfield's. In exchange for Kaye paying her Antioch tuition, Weinraub assisted him on his project Lake of Fire.[5][4]


In 2002—at the age of 23—Weinraub began shooting Shakedown, a Black lesbian strip club in the Mid-City neighborhood of Los Angeles.[5] Over the course of 6 years, Weinraub accumulated over 400 hours of footage.[6] The resulting documentary feature, SHAKEDOWN, premiered at the 2018 Berlinale[8] and has subsequently been screened at various art institutions and film festivals including the Tate, London; ICA, London; MoMA PS1, New York; Centre d’Art Contemporain, Geneva; True/False Film Festival, Missouri; Sheffield Doc/Fest, England; Images Festival, Toronto; Frameline Film Festival, San Francisco and Gavin Brown's Enterprise, New York.[9] A shorter version was screened as part of the 2017 Whitney Biennial.[10]

Hood by Air[edit]

In 2012, Weinraub began working on the critically acclaimed fashion label Hood By Air, eventually taking on the title of CEO. She held this position until the brand's hiatus in 2017.[1][6] Weinraub was openly skeptical of the brand's celebrity endorsements and kept the company closed to outside investors.[1][4][7]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d Da Costa, Cassie (16 March 2018). "Leilah Weinraub's Radical Cinema of Privacy in "Shakedown"". The New Yorker. Retrieved 11 November 2018.
  2. ^ Tuesday; October 23rd; 2018. "Sundance Institute Names 2018 Art of Nonfiction Fellows and Grantees". www.sundance.org. Retrieved 2019-04-01.
  3. ^ "Leilah Weinraub". www.artforum.com. Retrieved 2019-04-01.
  4. ^ a b c d Glazek, Christopher (2016-08-29). "Hood By Air's Radically Aggressive Streetwear". ISSN 0028-792X. Retrieved 2019-04-01.
  5. ^ a b c "Scenes from the Underground: Leilah Weinraub's 'Shakedown'". www.standardhotels.com. Retrieved 2019-04-01.
  6. ^ a b c Eckardt, Stephanie (23 May 2017). "Hood by Air's Leilah Weinraub on the Debut of Her Film About a Black Lesbian Strip Club". W Magazine. Retrieved 11 November 2018.
  7. ^ a b "Inside the Ambiguously Gendered, Pan-Racial, In-Your-Face Rolling Party of Hood by Air". The Cut. 2015-02-12. Retrieved 2019-04-01.
  8. ^ "Shakedown". www.berlinale.de. Retrieved 11 November 2018.
  9. ^ "Gavin Brown's enterprise". gavinbrown.biz. Retrieved 2019-04-01.
  10. ^ "Leilah Weinraub". whitney.org. The Whitney Museum of American Art. Retrieved 11 November 2018.