Embodied in kaleidoscopic hues and intricate designs, vintage COOGI sweaters embody a unique chapter in vintage clothing. Renowned for their creative and vibrant aesthetics, these iconic sweaters emerged as cultural symbols in the 1980s and 1990s. Worn by influential figures in the hip-hop scene and cherished for their luxurious Australian wool craftsmanship, COOGI sweaters continue to captivate fashion aficionados with their bold patterns and timeless appeal.
Founded in 1969 by Jacky Taranto as “Cuggi” in Toorak, Australia, the label was renamed in 1987 to “Coogi”. Retailing from $400 to $600, Coogi became a status symbol. The sweater’s popularity faded during the start of the 2000s and In 2002 Coogi’s popularity had declined to the point of Jacky Tarantino selling the brand for 25 million USD. The Coogi name was licensed to various discount manufacturers who don’t uphold the apparel quality, diluting the brand’s luxury appeal.
Biggie Smalls and Coogi
“Livin Better now, Coogi Sweater now”Notorious B.I.G ‘Big Poppa’
Biggie Smalls, the legendary rapper known for his lyrical genius and influential impact on hip-hop, became an inadvertent ambassador for COOGI sweaters in the 1990s. His larger-than-life persona and distinctive fashion sense prominently featured these vibrant and intricate sweaters, catapulting COOGI into the spotlight of urban fashion. Biggie, donning these kaleidoscopic knits in music videos, performances, and public appearances not only showcased his unique style but also transformed these sweaters into iconic symbols within hip-hop culture.
“Heartthrob never, black and ugly as ever; However, I stay Coogi down to the socks.” – Biggie ‘One More Chance’
Brooklyn Nets & Coogi Lawsuit
The Brooklyn Nets are in trouble with Coogi. Their 2018-19 “City” edition jerseys were inspired by Coogi and pay tribute to Biggie. Coogie is now suing the Nets for using their brand and incorporating it into the jerseys without permission. According to the lawsuit, the NBA team copied COOGI ’s trademarked patterns “Pea Soup” and “Ricotta.”
The famous Coogi sweater pattern is made up of 3 signature elements: Asymmetrical wave shapes, A variety of textures and bright colors.
The collaboration featured a full range of apparel including, hoodies, sweaters, and jackets and accessories, featuring signature COOGI knitwear. The patterns are applied to co-branded basketball jersey as well as a knit chore jacket, resembling that of a light wash denim, as well as signature oversized t-shirts. The collection also consists of jeans and basketball shorts in various colors, all featuring COOGI’s signature embroidery pattern and graphics all over.
Written by Sammy Aronoff