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Article: Going Back to Our Roots Part 2: All About Hoodies!

Going Back to Our Roots Part 2: All About Hoodies!

Going Back to Our Roots Part 2: All About Hoodies!

With the brand new release of EleStory's first-ever "Play" Collection featuring  reversible hoodies, I am brought back in time to how the first EleStory jacket came about. 

It's been nearly eleven years since the very first EleStory jacket made its debut in the form of a Spring jacket, modeled by 2 year old June (above). Then, Fall of that year, I created our first fleece hoodie, made with deadstock fabric I found in Los Angeles, lined with a unique mix of fabrics on the inside and a fun hood stripe in a contrast fabric. Finished off with wooden buttons I found off of a small fabric shop in San Francisco's inner Richmond district, where we lived. 

My mother always had the most beautiful coats when I was growing up, and it made quite an impression on me. I remember always being most drawn to the details of her coats, how well-balanced they were and how the cut was tailored to look so incredible on her. 

As much as my mother loved fashion, she never learned how to sew like her own  mother. So for as long as I could hold a needle, I was eager to learn how to hand-sew with scraps of fabrics lying around, making dress up clothes for myself and my Barbie dolls, until I took a sewing class for the first time as a senior in high school, and fell in love. 

Fast forward almost 2 decades later, fresh off earning my MFA in costume design, I found myself captivated by the craft of creating one-of-a-kind garments (particularly coats) from scratch. Inspired by memories of my mother's own exquisite coats, I embarked on a personal quest to create my own masterpiece—a 1940s-inspired wool coat that marked the beginning of my love for designing and making coats.

The Evolution of the EleStory Jacket, from my first coat (left) to the last I made before June was born, and June modeling one of our early jackets (right)

However, life took an unexpected turn when I joined Pixar Animation shortly after my mother's passing in 2007. Despite the excitement of my new job, I yearned for the creative fulfillment that making garments with my own hands once brought me. So I decided to challenge myself to design and make a winter coat each year. I kept up with this until a joyful revelation changed everything: baby June was on the way!

With my maternal instincts in full swing, my focus shifted and I tried my hand at making a darling jacket for our baby girl. This ignited a series of jacket creations for my friends and their babies and eventually led to the birth of our 'second child', aka. EleStory.

And so, in April 2013, EleStory was born, with a simple jacket with a swing coat silhouette and a cute bow in the back. We continued to do remixes of this darling coat for a few more seasons. My natural love for mixing patterns was on full display as I would choose cute prints even on the inside of our early jackets, which caused people to ask if they were reversible (and planted the seed for a reversible jacket someday). 

Our journey comes full circle as we reintroduce our hoodies/French Terry jackets nearly 10 years later —now reversible, and crafted with 2 layers of superbly soft French terry. Inspired by our second daughter's rough play and love for twirly and soft dresses (since she has sensitive skin). With exclusive EleStory prints developed in partnership with a talented textile designer on one side, and vibrant colors custom-dyed to match some of my favorite hues, these jackets are a testament to my love for design and passion for all things well-made and unique.

Our new hoodies are reminiscent of the colors I have loved, and the silhouette also remained similar to our first hoodies, but I removed the button plackets and rounded out the front hem, puffed out the shouldered a bit more. 

Reversible jackets featuring one-of-a-kind prints, before production

Our reversible jackets, brought to life with coordinating dresses!

My favorite feature of our new jackets is that, just like their predecessors, they are still designed to grow with your child: with ample room in the body for layering and sleeves that can be worn cuffed (showing off the unique lining fabric) and then un-cuffed as your child grows. 

It's been a thrilling journey, revisiting our original designs and refreshing them in new and bold whimsical prints, and made for unlimited play! Thank you for your unwavering support as we continue to chase our dreams and spread a little magic along the way. 🌟 I can't wait for you and your girls to PLAY in our anniversary collection, coming April 19th! 


1 comment

I think it would be nice if EleStory would also offer plain leggings (surf, lilac, peachy) to match the printed side of the hoodies :) God Bless 🙏

Indiana Hong

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