The Hoodie. The Last Truly Political Garment
Exhibition: The Hoodie
Het Nieuwe Instituut, Rotterdam
– 12 April 2020
Garments with an integrated hood can be traced back to ancient Greece. The hooded sweater, an element of today’s everyday clothing, dates back to the Knickerbocker Knitting Company (now Champion), founded in 1919, which for the first time provided sweaters with a cosy hood. The garment, which quickly became popular due to its high functionality, has gained great political importance throughout its history, especially in the course of its appropriation by the hip-hop scene, as a symbol of subculture and counterculture. In the fight against racist violence in the USA, the hoodie particularly most recently gained infamy following the murder of Trayvon Martin, in whose memory the Million Hoodie March was held in New York in 2013. Curator Lou Stoppard looks at the socio-cultural significance of this garment with a multimedia exhibition concept combining photography, film, installations, fashion, and other media.