Histoire d'un succès : le sweatshirt

Success story: the sweatshirt

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After the t-shirt, Hast continues his tour of success stories and invites you to retrace the advent of another timeless one (and not least…): the sweatshirt . Pronounced “swét” and not “swit”, it has become an essential basic in the men’s wardrobe. If today you can't imagine spending a weekend or going jogging without it, the sweatshirt took patience to transform into a fashion phenomenon. Yes, but do you know the history of this iconic piece?

The birth of the sweatshirt

Straight from America, the sweatshirt first appeared in the 1920s to respond to a problem encountered by young athletes on the fields of American campuses. To train, they wore heavy virgin wool sweaters that made them extremely hot and irritated their skin.

Complicated to train in these conditions? This was the opinion of Benjamin Russell Junior, player on the Alabama team, who, tired of sweating in his sweater, asked his father, a textile manufacturer, to create a new sports outfit for him. Neither one, nor two: Benjamin Russell, at the head of the Russel Manufacturing Company, had the idea of ​​making a collarless top in cotton jersey: the “sweatshirt”. Literal translation of “shirt for sweating”. You understand better why.

In the beginning was fleece

For its part, the Knickerbocker Knitting Company brand, also known as Champion, is developing a new material, a fleece called reverse weave - in French embossed weave. The stitch is no longer knitted on the bias but vertically, which gives it a more stretchy appearance and also more resistant to washing. Practical for athletes…

If we can assume that Benjamin Russell invented the design of the sweatshirt, it was Champion who revolutionized the material. Winning combo. The myth was born.

A unique know-how (the heather)

Champion, whose history is therefore closely linked to that of the sweatshirt, marketed its first pullover hoodie version (with a hood) in 1934. Then, in the 1950s, the market took off thanks to Russell Athletic. The brand had the idea of ​​mixing the colors of the threads in the composition of the fabric used, thus creating a rendering that is very widespread today: heather.

Later, Champion (them again) offered to personalize the sweatshirt using the flocking technique. Initially a success among students who proudly displayed the colors of their university, the trend subsequently invaded the whole world. The sweatshirt becomes a means of expression and belonging to a group. Through a logo or a slogan, it is possible to assert your tastes and ideas.

The sweatshirt explosion

Once its production is mastered, everything goes very quickly. New craze first in the 80s, with the advent of the cult of the body and the search for performance, particularly through sport. In the cinema, certain cult figures appear in these new clothes. We remember Sylverster Stallone in Rocky IV wearing a white Hugo Boss sweatshirt, or Jennifer Beals in Flashdance. The taste is then for eccentricity with colorful, almost fluorescent pieces, with dropped collars or kitsch patterns.

Finally, in the 90s, hip-hop culture definitively took hold of the trend and made the sweatshirt the uniform of the movement. Dr Dre, Biggie, Coolio and Eminem appear in XXL hoodies and jogging pants, in a very street and completely new style.

Too many sweatshirts kill the sweatshirt?

As you will have understood, the sweatshirt has gone in just a few years from a simple sports jersey to a real fashion item, used in the music world or by renowned designers. With its great simplicity of production, its multiple customization possibilities, its timeless design and its comfort spirit, it is the darling of brands and is becoming omnipresent in collections. It is becoming so popular that fast-fashion brands are starting to mass produce it until consumers feel saturated. Available in all its forms, it changes appearance as you wish: round neck, raglan sleeves, with a hood or kangaroo pockets and in current colors. But is this the end of the sweatshirt? Of course not. The sweatshirt remains a key piece of the men's wardrobe that must be chosen sparingly, paying particular attention to its construction.

The sweatshirt by Hast

Hast is therefore embarking on the great adventure of the sweatshirt, lifting it into a new dimension: that of a comfortable, high-end and responsible sweater. In choosing rare materials on this market, we encourage our customers to be demanding. Our two sweatshirts are made from beautiful unbrushed fleece in organic cotton and hemp. Two fibers with the same virtues of lightness and comfort as those of fabrics used throughout the long history of sweatshirts. A responsible choice.

We have chosen to offer you two mottled colors, ecru and blue. Stylistically impeccable, they go as well with a formal style, on a shirt with a large collar for example, as with a more casual look, worn simply over a t-shirt. Our sweatshirts are therefore the perfect union between the formal and casual worlds, a duality that is so dear to us at Hast.

This summer you will therefore be the most responsibly stylish but also the most informed, ready to shine with your inexhaustible knowledge on the history of the sweatshirt between two splashes in the swimming pool or at aperitif time.