GQ, November 19, 2014, By Matt Jones.
Hip-hop fans, breathe a sigh of relief. COOGI to reprise the celebrated “Biggie Jumper”, as worn, name-dropped and championed by Nineties hip-hop legend Notorious B.I.G.
And from it we can safely assume that Biggie was something of a knitwear connoisseur. It’s made with fine-gauge yarn and mixes fiendishly complex Jacquard, Intarsia and Tuck stitches to a create a three-dimensional texture that’s so intricate it’s been inducted into the Smithsonian Coopper-Hewitt National Design Museum.
Now, at this point the initiated among you may, quite rightly, ask how a premium Australian knitwear brand, beloved by antipodean golfers and Bill Cosby (no, really) came to be adopted by an East Coast hip-hop roughneck? Allow veteran streetwear stylist Groovey Lew (he who curated Lauryn Hill, Rick Ross and Biggie’s wardrobe) to explain.
Speaking to MTV news in 2009, Lew says, “We used to go to [Manhattan club] the Grand on Sundays… My man had all the Coogis and the Kangols. And I got the pictures where [uptown style icon Walt G] got his Kangol on and his Coogi, but Big had on Army jackets and Timberlands. [Biggie] 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 mother***** 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.. when you was running through [New York club] the Tunnel with that bottle of Cris in your hand and a Coogi on, girls is looking at you, like, ‘That’s a G right there. What’s in the pockets?’ Big definitely set the standard for splash and swagger when he was coming up.”
Having made the brand‘s 3D Technicolor vernacular a Nineties mainstay, Biggie fortified his allegiance to COOGI by name-dropping them in Ready?to Die‘s “Big Poppa“, Life After Death‘s “Hyptontize“,Born Again‘s “Would You Die For Me“, and the single “One More Chance“.
Now get into the knitwear limelight even if you don‘t rhyme right.
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