The Genderless Hoodie - Design Process
por Sabi The Label·
The Genderless Hoodie has been a work in progress over the last 6 months. As many design stories go, I typically design for the items I want but can't find. This time was different.
It’s no denying that Sabi has a feminine undertone in its design and aesthetic. As a small business with very few employees and me (female) being the designer and fit model, it keeps things limited when wanting to expand into other genres. But just like seasons and our thoughts and the people we love and let go of, Sabi was ready to shift and change. Keeping on the path of our core design principles, whilst incorporating this new shift in audience/customer, the desire for a staple item like a hoodie seemed appropriate.
I decided to reach out to over 20 of my close male-identifying friends to provide a list of what constitutes the perfect hoodie, to them. I wanted to better understand the needs and wants in a wardrobe staple from a group of people who move through the world differently to me. A lot of what I read was elements they have always wanted in a hoodie and yet couldn't find. So, the design process began.
Within these 6 months, I experience a deep and yet important heartbreak. The sudden loss of my relationship was a catalyst for so much. Change, self worth, and finding beauty and acceptance in the nuances of life. This is when the design process shifted…
I wanted to weave in the story of this unexpected evolutionary experience, as I never thought it would be the trajectory of my deepest heartbreak. This was a welcomed challenge that saw many rounds of sampling, altering, redesigning, etc. Patience actually is a virtue, FYI. The more external elements I brought into this design, the more I realised the connection between life nuance and artistic nuance. How do I keep this piece true to a core staple that fits within everyone's wardrobe, whilst catering to a much wider audience than I usually design for, whilst also telling the story of a pivotal life moment? All the while being functional.
Translating what’s in your head, into what goes on a body, is hard. And it's time-consuming, and it's expensive. But the reward? Something you’re incredibly proud of. Something you wear and feel beautiful and sexy, and desired, all on your own, before anyone even looks at you in the street or compliments you. It’s the feeling you get when someone you already love or see beauty within or share a deep connection with, wears your design - the story, the process, the patience - and says “Wow, I love it”. It’s the way clothes aren't just for the body but for the feeling our bodies experience and the stories they endure.