Black-owned hoodie business is perfect fit for natural hair revolution

ByMatteo Iadonisi Localish logo
Thursday, October 21, 2021
These hoodies are for natural hair
Where traditional cotton hoodies can make natural hair dry and frizzy, KIN Apparel is a woman-owned sweatshirt brand that makes its sweatshirts lined with satin instead.

PHILADELPHIA -- "At a young age, my hair was always permanently straight," said Philomina Kane. "And that's been the case for a lot of black women."

Kane, 26, was no stranger to using perming cream to keep her hair relaxed. But as time went on, she took a leading role in the natural hair revolution.

"I joined a rugby team and my hair was just falling out because I wasn't taking care of it," said Kane, who played as a student at Princeton University.

In 2014, she chopped her hair and uploaded a video of the process to her YouTube channel, NaturallyPhilo. Since then, she has amassed an audience of nearly 200,000 people who follow her natural hair journey.

Part of that journey was starting her own clothing line, KIN Apparel. The title, an acronym for "Keeping it Naturally," has a double meaning tying back to her family roots.

"I was raised in Ghana by my grandmother for the first five years of my life," said Kane. "She taught me about my Ghanian culture, which I've grown to love so much."

She has been able to incorporate traditional designs into her sweatshirts, which have become the cornerstone of her success.

"Traditional hoodies are made with cotton and cotton absorbs the moisture in your hair, leaving it dry, frizzy," said Kane. "So, what we do is we line the hoods with satin. That does not strip your hair of moisture."

The inclusive design appeals directly to women whose natural hair had previously not been addressed by other clothing brands.

"If you have the big curly hair, if you have locks, like, wearing a regular hood is like committing to a bad hair day," said Alyssa Ghilardi, a satisfied customer who jumped on board as the head of operations at KIN Apparel. "So, when you see a satin-lined hoodie and one that fits, you're like, duh, like I need that."

KIN Apparel has soared in popularity via social media, leading to an opportunity to appear on the hit television show, "Shark Tank."

"It's like a dream come true," she said. "So, I want people to hear my story and embrace their natural hair."

To learn more about KIN Apparel, visit their website.