Why the hoodie is a must-have on every head

Worn by models on and off the catwalk, the hoodie fascinates after having disturbed so much. Here is the modus operandi of this essential piece to adopt right now.

We thought it was reserved for retarded teenagers, tomboys and weekends spent slumped on the sofa. However, the hoodie has been making a comeback on the catwalk for a few seasons now. A trend that is set to last, since it can be found on the catwalks for autumn-winter 2016-2017, particularly at Vetements, the most prescriptive label of the moment led by Demna Gvasalia (the new artistic director of Balenciaga). The ultimate consecration, Karl Lagerfeld dressed his bride in it during his last Chanel haute couture show. An unexpected fashion turnaround when you look at the history of this controversial piece.

From controversy to the catwalk
Characterised by a hood that can be tightened with a string extending from each side, the hoodie was created by the Champion brand in the United States in the 1930s to warm up athletes between performances. Worn by athletes from high school to university (and lent to their girlfriends), it quickly became the symbol of a cool and preppy youth. In the 1980s, it became so popular that no one wore their sweatshirt to sweat but to hang out. With teenagers hanging out in the streets with their hoods on, the hoodie became associated with delinquency, so much so that in July 2006, the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, David Cameron, asked the British people to stop stigmatising young people in a speech that is still called “Hug a hoodie”: “This hoodie is the answer to a problem, not a problem in itself. We, the people in suits, see the hoodie as an aggression, the uniform of a rebel army of young gangsters. But this garment is more defensive than offensive. It’s a way to remain invisible on the street. In a dangerous environment, the best way to protect yourself is to keep your head down, to blend in.

“This garment is more defensive than offensive.”

To further tarnish its dirty reputation, the hoodie has become the political banner of police violence against African-American communities in the United States, particularly since the Trayvon Martin case in Florida on 26 February 2012. The death of the 17-year-old black boy, unarmed except for a packet of candy in his hand, shot by a police officer for wearing a hoodie at night in a quiet residential area, set off a firestorm. His outfit gave rise to the Million Hoodies Movement for Justice, which is associated with Black Lives Matter.

From sports to political demands, this garment has been surprisingly reappearing on prestigious catwalks for the past few seasons, charged with this heavy symbolic past. Adopted by Karl Lagerfeld for the Chanel spring-summer 2016 haute couture show, worn by Rihanna to salute at the end of her first Fenty Puma by Rihanna show, it promises to be omnipresent for next winter. And you can adopt it now.

New king of the catwalks

Photos Imaxtree

Hoodie instructions for use
The hoodie is the key piece of the models’ off-duty look, and has the ability to warm us up while bringing a right dose of casualness and rebellion. The challenge is not to look like a repressed teenager or an escapee from the gym. So we think of wearing it in an exaggerated volume as a dress, as seen at Anthony Vaccarello, Lacoste, or Moschino. But the best way to wear it is without a hood, compensating for its streewear nature by layering it with other more formal garments, as at Michael Kors, Louis Vuitton, or Each x Other. Get your hoods on.

Editor’s favourites

Photos Acne Studios, Zara, COS, The Kooples, Comptoir des cotonniers, Eric Bompard, Ssense, Mcq Alexander Mc Queen, Zalando

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