How The Pandemic And The Power Of Celebrity Put Crochet In The Spotlight


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Not Your Grandma's Knitting

The onset of the pandemic inspired many to try their hand at new hobbies. People made banana bread, became enthralled with TikTok trends, and some people even explored their inner artist. Knitting and crocheting were among the hobbies in which people spent their newfound free time.

Picking up an old hobby turned into something much larger for some people, which is why you may begin to notice knitwear having a moment. In this blog, Hollywood Branded discusses the way the pandemic and the power of celebrity put crochet in the spotlight.

How The Pandemic And The Power Of Celebrity Put Crotchet In The Spotlight

More Than A Hobby For Memorial Day

During this pandemic, many knitters turned to their craft for comfort and connection with those around them. Delsy Guow, whose mother taught her how to crochet when she was 9, found that the pandemic was the perfect time to get back into crocheting after she lost her job. She began by sharing her creations with friends until she started to receive requests from friends of friends. Guow saw a demand for her knitted hats and ended up creating Memorial Day, a label that sells knitwear including hats, bikinis, and more. Her very own label has since gone viral with the help of a few big names.

An eventful few months for the brand began when Ella Emhoff, stepdaughter of VP Kamala Harris and IMG Model who has her own knitwear brand, reached out to trade with Memorial Day. Emhoff began sharing the colorful crochet products in January 2021 and has posted in them a couple of times since then. In February, Kaia Gerber bought matching crochet hats for her and her dog, Milo. Guow is not sure how Kaia found her but told Vogue she is “super grateful." The brand was gaining steady momentum, and in April, things really took off when Bella Hadid posted in the brand twice. The supermodel posted several selfies wearing a hat from the brand and another time in a crochet bikini top. A couple weeks later, over 8 million people were exposed to Memorial Day when Kylie Jenner posted in a custom knitwear bikini. Needless to say, every product on Memorial Day’s website is sold out, and many fans have inquired about the checkered bikini featured in Kylie’s post.

Ella Emhoff Kylie Jenner Bella Hadid Wearing Crotchet

Bernie Sanders... Style Icon?

Another major moment for knitwear occurred when Bernie Sanders sported mittens made out of knitted sweaters to this year’s inauguration. Jen Ellis, a second-grade teacher from Vermont, sent Bernie Sanders the mittens, but had no idea he would wear them to such a prominent event. Ellis sews the mittens from old wool sweaters and lines the inside with fleece made from recycled plastic. She sent a pair to the senator following his 2016 democratic nomination loss. Years later, along his campaign trail in 2019, a photo of Sanders lending a medical worker his mittens went viral on Twitter. When Ellis saw the photo, she was touched and sent the campaign 10 more pairs. Earlier this year, the mittens went viral again when Bernie wore them to the inauguration. 

Bernie sat socially distanced at the inauguration wearing a beige parka (the same one from his “I am once again asking” meme) and the mittens Jen Ellis sewed for him. Following the event, a photo of him went viral on social media and Bernie was photoshopped into all kinds of settings including scenes from Game of Thrones and Friends. When Seth Meyers asked the politician if he had seen the meme, he said “I was just sitting there trying to keep warm, trying to pay attention to what was going on.” The two of them shared a laugh over the Sex And The City version of the meme. Later, on CBS News, Bernie said “In Vermont, we know something about the cold. And we’re not so concerned about good fashion. We just want to keep warm.”

The mittens going viral was totally unexpected for Jen Ellis, who just makes them for her family and friends. She felt honored that her mittens were worn among a crowd donning designer clothing. After an outlet erroneously reported that the mittens were for sale, Jen's inbox was flooded with requests for the mittens. However, as a busy second grade teacher and mom, she does not have time to sell them.

Bernie Sanders Inauguration Crotchet Mittens Meme

Crochet On The Runway

Crochet is now having its moment in the world of high fashion as well designers are using crocheted pieces on models at fashion weeks in New York, London and Milan. Well known brands are featuring crochet in their spring/summer 2021 lines. Bottega Veneta, for example, incorporated crochet pieces in their “Ready To Wear” collection for this spring. Included in the line is their popular Triangle Bag, in a crochet-knit finish. The bag comes in several colors and matches dresses from the line that come in a range of pastels. Additionally, Fendi has a variety of crochet items on the market at the moment. They are offering dresses, hats, and a variety of bags. Across the fashion industry, crochet has been worked into lines with all kinds of pieces from dresses to accessories.

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Ready To Try Your Hand (Or Hook?)

We can thank the pandemic for the rise in popularity of handmade and D.I.Y. fashion. The power of celebrity has put crocheting on the map, whether it was unknowingly like Bernie Sanders wearing knitted mittens at the inauguration or "it girls" sharing the style on social media. This trickle up trend even made it to high fashion with appearances on the runway. Whether or not you plan on trying your hand (or hook) at making crochet pieces happen, you’re sure to spot the trend.

Interested In Influencers?

In this blog we examined the way Memorial Day's products blew up because of mentions on social media. Want to learn more about influencer marketing? Check out some of our other blogs:  

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