Are you aware of the major role the men’s sweatshirt has in the history of fashion? That unassuming piece of wear has been already a symbol of the rebellion against the establishment, belonging to the elite university communities, and on the other hand the effluence of the hip-hop lifestyle. The evolution of this most comfortable element of men's wardrobe, which constitutes the basis of a streetwear look, can surprise. But let's start from the beginning ...

Go to practise, right now! #hoodie

The very first concept of a jersey-crafted sportswear emerged at the beginning of the last century. This design was conceived as an alternative of woolen tricots of American football players since they did not provide them with ultimate comfort during exhausting trainings.

Russell Athletics is thought to be a pioneer in creating sportswear out of materials intended for underwear. World-renowned label Champion, known as Knickerbocker Knitting Company in the 1930s, has equipped football jersey tops with delicate materials and functional hood.

Since then, one of the most in-demand clothing articles in United States, a hoodie, became a domain of professional athletes and factory workers who valued its thermoactive qualities.

Varsity chic

The 1960s saw an exponential growth in interest of jersey clothes by the USA biggest universities via ubiquitous ads. Logos and colors of the respective universities started to appear on the jersey sweatshirts. Items sporting school’s signature colors defined an affiliation to the elite social group of American students.

Owning those sweatshirts was the ultimate dream of large numbers of young people. Symbolic top in university unique colourwash was the element handed down in the family from generation to generation.

A hoodie versus social and subculture exclusion

1970s in New York is a time of the infamous history of men’s hoodie. This clothing article was cherished by a hip-hop music fans who, in the name of professed values, indulged in the art of graffiti. Face-covering hoods have become extremely useful during illegal activities.

Two decades later, a sportswear look was borrowed by California-based skateboarders, who used loose-fitting, bulky outfit as the means for manifesting their separateness and contempt for the mainstream culture.

Connecting hoodies with underclass people has been established in the common awareness of the better part of society people for years. It even reached such dramatic point, where hooded-clad people were being excluded from participating in certain social activities. In the United Kingdom, in the 1990s, a popular trend among shop and pub owners was to display information board saying people wearing hoodies are not allowed in.

The dialogue on the stereotyping of those wearing hoodies flamed up again just after Trayvon Martin’s tragic death who fell victim to a gunshot as his outfit seemed suspicious. The teenager was wearing a hooded sweatshirt then.

Designers on the streets!

How did sportswear appeared on the catwalks? It all began in the 1980s, when Norma Kamali introduced ready-to-wear sports sweatshirts to her women's collection.

It was the time when sweatshirts became a grateful backdrop for logomania - a theme of printing large, blatant logos of exclusive labels on clothing fronts.

Vivienne Westwood was one of the first designers to utilize this motif, launching her Anglomania line. A decade later Tommy Hilfiger, Giorgio Armani and Ralph Lauren were among those who followed in Westwood’s footsteps. Today, sweatshirts are indispensable elements of Alexander Wang’s or Kanye West’s Yeezy collections.

Multidimensionality of fashion has also changed the approach to the stereotypical view of hooded sweatshirts associated with the demiworld people.

One of the most distinct, demonstrative moves was Mark Zuckerberg’s appearance in a hoodie in 2012 official business meeting with Wall Street brokers.