“There’s an old saying about those who forget history. I don’t remember it, but it’s good.”
― Stephen Colbert
Here at Cleverhood, it’s not enough to make a stylish outerwear garment. We’re focused on form plus function. While we strive to keep our street capes on the cutting edge of fashion, you’d be remiss to sell us short on performance. There’s history to back us up.
Wikipedia claims that the Cleverhood is heir to one of the oldest traditions in the history of clothing, stating that, “there has nearly always been some form of long, unstructured outer garment used to protect people from the weather.” Fashion and materials may come and go, but there are always the weather elements to battle. And there is always the cape (aka poncho, cloak, capa, Kap, cappa…or hood).
The poncho goes way back. It became a distinctive element of dress in many Central and South American cultures. In Europe, various styles of cape and cloak (capes are shorter, cloaks are full-length, sometimes open) have cycled in and out of favor since Medieval times.
The cape has had a storied history to match its timeless form. Armies have been known to issue rainproof ponchos that can be used to create a tent-like temporary shelter. Bela Lugosi’s Dracula used it to great affect for mystery and quick escapes. Capes have been associated with superheroes and magicians throughout history (see Harry Potter invisibility cloak). The epitome of cool – Clint Eastwood’s “man with no name” — wore his cape for function + form.
The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy claimed that a towel “is about the most massively useful thing an interstellar hitchhiker can have” because of its many uses. A cape is arguably more versatile.
Confucius said “Study the past if you would define the future.” So we took that and ran with it. Then Bicycling magazine noticed and said: “Enter the modern rain cape…”