Innovation That Matters


Fashion & Beauty

We weren't the only ones that liked Neighborhoodies' über-local hooded sweatshirts; they've done extremely well in the year and a half after we first featured them in the newsletter. And the idea still holds global promise!

We like simple ideas that can instantly be turned into potentially global businesses: check out Brooklyn-based Neighborhoodies, which sells cool, über-local hooded sweatshirts emblazoned with the name of one’s very own, very narrowly defined neighborhood. Big cities have always been about neighborhoods or even specific streets, so a Murray Hill shirt says more than ‘I heart NY’. Launched only a few months ago, 300 hoodies a month (source: NYT) find their way to everyone from proud NoLita residents to Carnegie Hill locals. Which brings us to the very pleasant opportunities that this business idea has to offer glocal entrepreneurs: there are literally thousands and thousands of city neighborhoods around the world, and strongly identifying with your ‘hood’ is by no means exclusively a New York thing. Arrondissement-hoodies should appeal to Parisians, and hoodies featuring London’s status-driven postal code system (from posh SW1 to funky N1) should be a big hit, too. As start-up costs are very low and very few entrepreneurs are in this space right now, it should be doable to at least quickly grab a national market. On its website, Neighborhoodies is already inviting customers to send in new cities and neighborhoods, and has so far added Berlin, London, Milan and Bombay to its list of non-US cities, though they remain somewhat hidden on their site, and no real-world examples of non-NY hoodies can be viewed. So hurry up, and go glocal!

Update | July 2004

More than a year ago, we spotted tiny startup Neighborhoodies, a Brooklyn based online company selling cool, über-local hooded sweatshirts emblazoned with the name of one’s very own, very narrowly defined neighborhood. We immediately liked the idea, and so did others: the company has gone on a roller coaster ride. More than 35 employees, features in major publications like Newsweek and USA TODAY, and even real-world, instant-gratification stores in Manhattan’s South Street Seaport Mall and in LA (a new store in Cincinnati will open next month, August 2004). They’ve also added funky mail bags to their portfolio (a no-brainer, just like their T-shirts, undies and kidswear).Even though Neighborhoodies is now selling to many customers outside their native US, this market is still open to local entrepreneurs around the globe: part of the charm of Neighborhoodies is the local aspect (hence the name ;-). An intricate knowledge of even the most obscure blocks, quarters and hoods is needed, as well as a no-outsourcing policy.And yes, it also works really well with’s GRAVANITY trend, and with a consumers’ revived longing for being part of a community (from anxious Americans to EU-enlarged Europeans). There’s still good money in this idea—hey, we told you so before!!Website:


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