Hoodie History: how AO76 introduced it to Europe

We love hoodies at AO76 ! It’s an anker piece in every collection, a daily reminder of our roots and a fusion of our values. It's an iconic piece of clothing with the coolest history. 


To tell you this story, we need to go back to the Middle Ages in Normandy, where monks, workers and farmers first started wearing clothing with a hood around the 12th century, to protect them against the elements of nature. There was nothing fancy about it, just plain practicality.

A long time later, in the 1930's, the hoodie was reintroduced in America and used by workers in the cold warehouses of New York City. Again, just for comfort and warmth.

It wasn’t until the year 1976, when the classic boxing movie ‘Rocky’ came out in the States, the hoodie gained its popularity. Every kid from that time remembers Sylvester Stallone to this day. He's known as this tough muscle bundle, that trained in cold meat fridges with a hood over his head, right ?! That movie was a huge success and hit the fashion industry like a bomb !

Every athlete & kid who liked working out or wanted to look cool, had to have a hoodie. From that moment on, the hoodie got reclaimed in different subcultures as well, like the hip hop scene or amongst skaters & surfers. Even girls were totally hooked and implemented hoodies in their wardrobe. They were a must-have piece, and still are today.


In the same year that Silvester Stallone became Rocky, Etienne Vandemoortele founded ‘American outfitters’, now known as AO76.  Just like the hoodie, sportswear in general hit the streets in the golden seventies and started colouring the fashion world. So we jumped right on board ! Etienne had a great eye for business, so he started importing USA sports brands like Hanes & Fruit of the Loom, to Belgium as one of the first in the European industry.

Just like Rocky, this bold move was a great success. The sportwear-hype swiftly got picked up in Belgium and eventually lead to the making of our own sportswear in the nineties. Up to the present day, we still have a lot of sportswear in our collections, with the HOODIE as a centre piece.


Like Quentin Tarantino would say: "We've got coloured hoodies, zipped hoodies, summer hoodies, long hoodies, short hoodies, girls hoodies, boys hoodies, wide hoodies, pocket hoodies, classic hoodies,..." Plus hoodies that breath out our future vision and summer theme ! We have a great range of the coolest hoodies to choose from.


If you're still wondering why we & our #AO76kids love hoodies so much, let's tell you one last time. First of all, they're super practical and have big kangaroo pockets to store your stuff in or keep your hands warm. They're the perfect amount of loose and comfy. Some of them even have full zippers, which makes them as practical as a jacket.

If you're asking about our hoodies, you're in luck. We crafted them in the highest quality cotton and they're easy to wash. They can be neutral as well as also colourful with unique artworks. You can literally combine them with everything ! Girls wear them on skirts, over their long dresses or on their favourite denim. Boys wear them all the time, it’s just their favourite piece for every occassion.

The best part is that they have this big hood that gives them an instant ‘bad ass’ look ! Get your iconic hoodie now and be a part of a great historical fashion movement !

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