Mr. Gibbons’s creations, repurposed from hoodies he found in tourist shops on Canal Street, have found a following among New York’s young downtown scene, as well as with pop stars like Charli XCX. Interview magazine recently photographed the TikTok girl du jour Alix Earle in one of his hoodies.
Mr. Gibbons began making the hoodies last year, after having experimented with combining corsets and rugby shirts a few years earlier. He was, as he put it, “more broke than I had ever been in my life” and working from the studios of his designer friends — like Carly Mark of Puppets and Puppets and Kim Nguyen of Nguyen Inc. He now produces the hoodies in small quantities, selling them at Café Forgot on the Lower East Side and on his website, where they have sold out. (They are priced at 225 British pounds, or about $280; the Mugler hoodies exceed $1,000.)
Mr. Gibbons said their popularity was a result of “leeching off New York’s iconography, in a way, but also making something so comfortable and wearable as a hoodie have this sex appeal.” Most of the hoodies, which are cut with a deep V hem that accentuates the hips and, he said, “drives the attention down the body,” are custom-made to accommodate the buyer’s measurements.
A handful of other corset hoodies are on the market: by Celine (cashmere, no closures), Dion Lee (French terry, with hook-and-eye clasps), Eckhaus Latta (zipped and not quite as snatched as the others) and the emerging designer Weslah (lace-up, with a crystal logo). Plenty of versions are being sold on fast fashion websites.
But few have captured the attention of New York’s zeitgeisty fashion crowd as Mr. Gibbons’s design has, said Faisal Hasan, a fashion stylist.
“The word has spread through friends and friends of friends,” said Mr. Faisal, who selected one of Mr. Gibbons’s designs for a March photo shoot with Padma Lakshmi. “Consumers still want streetwear. It’s here to stay. Yet they also want elegance post-pandemic, and here they have it both.”