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ONE MEMORABLE LOOK: BIGGIE SMALLS' COOGI SWEATERS

What Sweater Did Biggie Wear?

The Coogi Sweater.

In an interview with Dr. Jays, MTV stylist Groovey Lew reports that Wallace. who made the COOGI sweater a huge hip-hop phenomenon. borrowed the style from Walt G., a neighborhood kid who Wallace partied with.

Says Groovey Lew, “[Big] fell in love with this kid’s style right there.— just took it to the next level for the world to see. If you weren’t Bill Cosby or just a rich motherf*cker from Australia playing golf. nobody knew about [COOGI]. Big homie started running around with it, and that’s what opened the hood up to it.”

origin

How Biggie Smalls, a 1990s rap star from Clinton Hill, Brooklyn, crossed paths with the Melbourne-based knitwear brand Coogi is still something of a mystery. 

Some credit it to an interaction with one Walt G, a fellow kid on the New York club scene. who was a fan of its colourful sweaters some time before Biggie. 

Others to a (disgraced) TV sitcom star whose character was known as much for his goofy dad jokes as his goofy dad sweaters. 

Whichever way the story goes, it wasn’t until The Notorious B.I.G. adopted the label that Coogi truly earned its place in the annals of pop culture.

 

follow-up

It’s no secret that rappers love a designer name-drop, be it a single iconic line (most courtesy of Mr Kanye West).a song title (Jay-Z’s “Tom Ford”) or an alias (Mr Radric “‘Gucci Mane” Davis).

 By today’s ultra-flamboyant standards, the big-name rappers of the 1990s favoured a wardrobe that was pretty low-key: a mix of classic American sportswear labels with the odd sprinkling of Versace. It was a time when the East Coast-West Coast rivalry was at its peak. 

A nose ring and bandana became the signatures of California’s reigning king, Mr Tupac Shakur. 

Brooklynite Biggie’s uniform consisted of black sunglasses, a beret and one of his trusty Coogi sweaters. 

In an interview alongside Puff Daddy (as he was known then). he paired the sweater with a red leather jacket. 

For a performance on MTV’s Spring Break, he wore a short-sleeved. more muted version of the same patterned knit. 

On “Big Poppa”, His Coogi sweater is a ‘better life’ sign.embodies the self-made story that runs through his records.

On “One More Chance”, he boasts of being “Coogi down to the socks”. a commitment to the brand so strong we might start to suspect a #paidpartnership.

What made the Coogi sweater so covetable?

Comfort and ease may have played a part. but beyond the kaleidoscope of color palettes. there was a level of meticulous craftsmanship.

Even today, 24 years after Biggie’s death in 1997. it remains a hip-hop mainstay and has been adopted by the next generation. including A$AP Ferg. who sampled Biggie’s Coogi lines in his “Work Remix” One of” when wearing a Coogi sweater in the video. 

To the untrained, Ferg’s jumper is nothing more than a fancy granny sweater.

For the rap connoisseur of the 1990s. however, it was a symbol of East Coast pride, a tribute to an icon. and a sign of his understanding of hip-hop history.

Biggie Smalls’ endorsement of the Coogi sweater highlights the soft power of the superstar rapper,

That is, the ability to turn niche Swiss watchmakers and French champagne brands into household names. However, the ultimate soft power? To be able to take something so quirky — even so uncool — and elevate it to street-style heights.

From Biggie’s granny sweater to A$AP Rocky’s granny hood.everything shows,When you’re one of the hottest rappers on the planet. Others will soon follow your example.

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