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Friday, December 30, 2005

Cosby sweater

Coogi of Australia was founded in the 1970s by Mr. Jacky Taranto (originally as Cuggi) and rocketed to international prominence in the 1980s, as Bill Cosby regularly wore their multicolored, scultped-knit sweaters on The Cosby Show (so much so that they became known as "Cosby sweaters"). As with all great design innovations, Coogi spawned legions of imitators, the best of which is Tundra of Canada, whose wares are virtually indistinguishable from genuine Coogis. Coogi also made neckties; most of them were simply plain silk ties printed with a Coogi sweater pattern, but the top-of-the-line ties, like the one featured today, were actually woven from colored silk threads into intricate sculpted patterns, and stand as a high-water mark in necktie design. Declining sales and some shady financial dealings by Mr. Taranto threw the company into bankruptcy in 2002; it was bought by an American investment team in 2003, which launched five new Coogi fashion lines (manufactured by Samsung!).

Efforts to extend the Coogi sweater look to other articles of clothing have produced mixed results. The Coogi golf suits in pastel tones worn by Jack Black and Ben Stiller in Envy are especially silly-looking, and I saw some matching sweater-pants suits on ebay a couple years ago that I can't imagine anyone wearing. In a continuation of a troubling trend, neckties seem to have been dropped from the lineup.


VintageGent said...

I have never seen a Coogi tie...thanks for sharing it!

Burl Veneer said...

You're welcome! I have a marvelous Coogi-like Tundra tie in store for when the time is right... Thanks for visiting!


eatthisvacation said...

does any one remember the bow tie cosby wore on his show in the 80"s
It looked like a mexican blanket