Streetwear Sweatshirts

Sweatshirts : history and place in streetwear

The sweater is an essential piece of all dressings. Whether for a man or a woman, this garment is worn at all times of the year. Comfortable and warm, it is also an elegant piece, where all designs are allowed.

A birth in sport

From the moment it was born, this shirt was not off to a good start. Literally meaning "sweat shirt", this top had to find its place among all the existing clothes. The name wasn't the best for marketing. But this one had the merit of describing it correctly.

Indeed, at the beginning, the sweatshirt is designed to absorb perspiration. This garment was born in the 1920s on American sports fields. The sportsmen of the various campuses used then woolen sweaters in the event of low temperatures. As much to say that with sweaters to make sport, these sweaters sweated a lot. The arrival of the sweatshirt changed things since its thinner material offered more comfort to the sportsmen.

If the American origin of the sweaters is known, its first creation is disputed. Several major brands, such as Jerzees, Champion, Russell Athletic or Fruit of the Loom are fighting to be the first creator. The story goes that it was Benjamin Russell Junior, son of a factory manager, who complained about the itching caused by the wool outfits of his college soccer team. This factory is the Russell Manufacturing Factory. It would be it which would have invented this textile. The idea of using cotton instead of wool for sportswear has totally changed the landscape of American sports.

After its creation, the sweatshirt quickly gained in popularity. Its effectiveness is proven and sportsmen, as well as the American military, love it. It should also be noted that the workers of the cold stores of New York use it. Very quickly the sweatshirt improves. The brand Champion starts its hooded version in 1934. This one will really transform the fashion. The hoodie, also called hoodie, is now completely anchored in the popular culture.

It is also from the 1930s that the possibility of flocking arrives. This one made the success of the sweatshirt because the American universities could create clothes completely personalized with their effigy. Everyone could claim to belong to a team. Many people, who were then only supporters, opted for a flocked sweatshirt.

In the 1950s, another revolution took place. The Russell Athletic brand decided to stop making 100% cotton sweaters. A mixture between cotton and polyester is made and thus allows to have a very resistant product. The garment lasts for a while, which makes it even more popular. Also, the color gray mottled makes its appearance. This is due to the fact that the cotton fiber is white while the polyester is black. Today, many models borrow it.

From this moment, the sweatshirt market explodes. Many brands start to produce and sell them. In the 1960s, all American universities had a sweatshirt with their name on it. The garment then becomes a powerful communication medium, which some brands have understood well. This top allows to communicate on a large scale since the person who wears it moves a lot in its presence. The costs are then much lower than an advertising campaign.

A garment that comes in fashion

The sweatshirt is starting to make its way into sports culture. In the 1980s, sports and fitness are well established practices. It is especially the cult of the body. The fitness rooms and the various sports activities know then a beautiful popularity. The sweatshirt knows then its apogee. If students used it before to support and show their team membership, the garment finds its original function, that of perspiration.

The movies that come out in theaters and are seen on television help to make the sweater particularly attractive. Everyone is wearing them. From the youngsters in schools to the fathers of families taking up sport in a dedicated gym, the cotton shirt is on everyone's shoulders. And even the girls are getting into it. Men want to have muscles to look like Rocky, the movie star. Girls want to look like Alex Owens from Flashdance or Veronique and Davina. The sweatshirt then absorbs the sweat of many people in the world.

At its peak, the sweatshirt has undergone a lot of experiments. You must have already seen the sweatshirts with bat sleeves or with fluo and flashy colors. Designers tried many things with the most popular top of the time. It even invites itself in some fashion shows. At the same time, the sweatshirt invites itself within the music. Indeed, the 80s are the beginning of the hip-hop movement in the United States. The artists show themselves with a sportswear look noticed, in particular by the presence of the sweatshirt. It gradually begins to move away from its sports origin to be in the street, among bobs and gold chains

This garment is also part of the street art dress code. Its hoodie version is very popular with graffiti artists. They can indeed camouflage their heads and make their drawings on the walls of the subway without being worried. The hoodie becomes a symbol of rebellion. Skateboarders use it to ride in parking lots and abandoned swimming pools. All the universes of the street finally integrate the sweater in their wardrobe.

tupac wearing a hoodie

Its popularity in these circles really arrived in the 1990s. The US rap becomes a must with artists such as Tupac or Snoop Dogg. The young people who are inspired by these movements will then take the sweatshirt to dress. The hoodie model is totally exploding. Its comfort, its lightness, its look and its affordable price seduce everyone.

The rise... then the fall

In the 90s, everything was going well for the sweater. It accompanied the development of the rap and hip-hop movements as well as those of graffiti artists and skateboarders. Unfortunately, like many other clothes, the sweatshirt will know a fall.

The sweatshirt, with or without hood, is everywhere. Everyone wears it, whether for sports or for his everyday look. It is then the indigestion. Too many sweatshirts have killed the sweater. It is necessary to know that at this time, the manufacturing costs are low and there are many kinds, proposed by many different brands. Finally, they participate to make it commonplace. Its price then falls and the sweater becomes a cheap and not very trendy product. It disappears from the catwalks and wardrobes in the early 2000s.

The decade will be quite complicated to live for the sweatshirt. The models with or without hood are not worn much. It is put aside as quickly as it appeared in fashion. The fate is sad but as they say, fashion is cyclical. Sooner or later, this garment will make a comeback.

In 2012, the sweatshirt signs its return to the forefront of the fashion scene. The model proposed by Kenzo and featuring a tiger's head is very popular and restores the desire for this type of clothing. Brands are back to producing sweatshirt designs and resume its marketing. We note for example the presence of pieces made by H&M and Zara. The Rottweiler model produced by Givenchy also marks the spirits.

Almost 100 years after its appearance, the sweatshirt has gone from being a sportswear, designed for perspiration to a real fashion piece. It even becomes a must-have since it is widely used in cold weather to keep warm. Jay-Z, Michael Jordan or Kurt Cobain are as many celebrities seen in the presence of a sweater on the shoulders. And obviously, if these personalities wear it, it is well that this top is interesting, whether for men or for women. 

The sweatshirt, a political piece

In 2012, the sweater is back in the spotlight. It is also during this year that a real topic emerges from the news. This garment, especially the hoodie, is then seen as a symbol of racial inequality in the United States and the rest of the world. On February 26 of that year, a 17-year-old black man, Trayvon Martin, left a grocery store after buying candy and iced tea at Stanford. He then heads to his father's girlfriend's apartment.

Trayvon Martin wearing a hoodie

The man was wearing a large black sweatshirt with the hood up. On his side, George Zimmerman, then neighborhood watch captain, follows Trayvon while calling the police to report "a suspicious person in his neighborhood". Only a few minutes later, Trayvon Martin was found shot dead. George Zimmerman then pleads self-defense.

The Fox News journalists will then accuse the hoodie. According to Gerardo Riviera "the hoodie is as responsible for the death of Trayvon Martin as George Zimmerman". Hoodies March are organized thereafter. People come dressed with a hoodie to show their support to Trayvon's family. The hoodie then becomes a garment whose scope is political and at the center of discussions.

Alongside this news, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg is in the news. He is photographed at a Wall Street meeting wearing a sweater. This is different from traditional suits. The garment is not only a symbol of protest. It is now also associated with power. The suit is then shown as belonging to the old world.

These two cases show all the range and the importance that the sweatshirt has.

The place in the streetwear

If the sweatshirt invited itself in the political dance at its expense, it is also well present within the streetwear scene. We consider the sweatshirt, and especially the hoodie model, as one of the essentials of a successful streetwear look.

Some people thought that the sweatshirt would be stuck in the 2000s with Eminem in his music 8 Mile. This is not the case. This one has completely followed the development of the looks related to rap, hip-hop but also skateboarders. If this garment is so associated with streetwear fashion is because it is historically linked to it. When these movements were born, it is the sweatshirt that was on the shoulders of artists. To wear streetwear without sweatshirt is simply impossible.

Lately we have seen the creation of hoodies with zippers. Also the designs have multiplied, from the simplest to the most developed. That's good, we have a little word to say about that !

The TENSHI™ collection

Tenshi is a store that offers all kinds of streetwear with Asian influences.

First of all, in our store, you can find hoodie models, with which you can put your hood and not be disturbed before going to class! But you can also find sweatshirt models, as originally.

tenshi sweatshirt

Here no hood but exceptional designs. Opt for a sweatshirt with elegant and striking designs and inscriptions. You're bound to get noticed thanks to our clothes. If you prefer to have a more simple and sober top, don't hesitate to look at the Chunks, Kussharo or Esashi models. The latter has a high collar, ideal to avoid being cold during winter.

The quality of our sweaters does not stop at the design. The manufacturing is made of cotton and polyester, which offers comfort and freedom of movement.

If you want to enjoy a quality garment, with an original and attractive design, Tenshi is the place to be. !

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