Make It

What it takes to join Kickstarter's million-dollar hoodie club

Zane Lamprey, creator of the ADV3NTURE Hoodie
Source: ADV3NTURE Hoodie
Zane Lamprey, creator of the ADV3NTURE Hoodie

The hoodie is the dress code of the irreverent and the creative. It's the wardrobe centerpiece for the functionally fashion forward. And it's catnip for crowdfunders.

There's a burgeoning crew of crowdfunding campaigns that have each raised more than a million dollars on Kickstarter for some new take on the hoodie.

Jack Bronstein, founder of New York City-based menswear brand Flint and Tinder, which has since been acquired by men's online retailer Huckberry, raised more than $1 million for his 10-Year Hoodie back in 2013.

Hiral Sanghavi and his wife raised more than $9 million on Kickstarter and another $2.5 million on Indiegogo for the BauBax travel jacket, which is loaded with 15 features to make traveling easier and which is available as a hoodie. The BauBax jacket is the fifth most funded Kickstarter campaign in the history of the platform, trailing only a few smartwatches and a tricked-out cooler.

And most recently, world traveler, entrepreneur, and TV host Zane Lamprey's travel hoodie has raised $1.85 million, more than 74 times the $25,000 he was aiming for.

Dubbed the ADV3NTURE Hoodie, there are 23 features built into the piece to make travel easier. For example, the zipper doubles as a beer bottle opener, there is a passport pocket, and, as Lamprey demonstrates in his appealing video during which he is gently buffeted by kittens, the whole hoodie can roll up into a pillow.

One key to the success of the hoodie on Kickstarter is that it has mass appeal.

"Unlike cargo shorts, the hoodie is universally adored. Its primary function is comfort, which is something we can all use from time to time," says Kickstarter spokesperson Justin Kazmark.

Still, there have been plenty of hoodies that have launched on Kickstarter without nearly as much success.

For example, Lamprey's first foray into crowdfunding was The Drinking Jacket, which raised only $575,000 on Kickstarter. Scores more hoodies have also launched on Kickstarter with modest results. The World's Best Sleep Hoodie raised $323,000. The Last Hoodie You'll Ever Need raised $109,000.

The hoodies that have made it to the million-dollar club on Kickstarter are those that told the story of the entrepreneur, and the story behind that entrepreneur's creation process, exceptionally well.

"A hoodie's just a hoodie, but on Kickstarter you have a chance to share the backstory with how an idea comes to life. The projects that do well here do just that," says Kazmark.

Also, kittens never hurt.