The Curse of Von Dutch: A Brand to Die For
Early 2000s fashion is making a comeback, reigniting demand for its iconic velour tracksuits, low-rise jeans, and rhinestone-studded baby tees that characterized this decade. Now Hulu will explore one of those beloved brands: Von Dutch. Directed by Andrew Renzi and released November 18th as The Curse of Von Dutch: A Brand to Die For, its docuseries explores their legacy and the complex corporate background behind their infamous logo-emblared trucker hats.
Von Dutch was established in the early 2000s, quickly becoming a lifestyle brand that blended street culture and luxury fashion. Their signature truckser hats became fashionable among rappers and celebrities such as Britney Spears and Paris Hilton while other famous patrons included Jay-Z and Nicole Richie. However, the company was mired in controversy; three-part series explores decade of backstabbing, greed and murder as various parties vied for control of this beloved label.
Kenny Howard (also known as Von Dutch), an artist and pinstriper associated with Kustom Kulture movement, created his signature style of overlapping lines on an American flag-shaped canvas to become what would later become the Von Dutch logo. After Howard died in 1992, his daughters permitted Los Angeles art collector Ed Boswell to capitalize on it by using Howard’s artistic signature as its trademark.
After the release of the show, Lyst fashion search engine saw Von Dutch brand searches increase by 148%, according to Morgane Le Caer, content lead for Lyst online shopping platform. Furthermore, celebrity sightings of trucker hats from Von Dutch such as Kylie Jenner and Jordynn Woods indicate their return as trends among millennials, just as with Britney Spears and Paris Hilton before them. “Millennials are taking back these trends!” Morgane concluded.
Although searches for Von Dutch products are on the rise, many consumers remain wary of its reputation due to its turbulent past. Renzi’s show examines how this formerly obscure label rose from obscurity to become one of the most recognized labels during this era; but also highlights how its success brought with it numerous scandals and legal troubles that undermined it.
Concerns may not be unwarranted. Following a lawsuit in 2018, the company was forced to redesign their website and change the name of their iconic trucker hats from “Von Dutch” to “Vondouzland.” A rep for the company explained that an unfavorable reputation can be difficult to overcome.
These new trucker hats feature the brand’s original logo patch with an adjustable snapback closure and come with animal patches for both men and women. Priced between $38-$488, depending on design, color and materials used; classic trucker hats usually sell between this range and much higher depending on design features such as animal patches. Additional accessories offered by this brand include T-shirts with logo designs as well as bowling bags bearing their brand. In coming months more apparel and footwear will be released; for now shoppers can pick up classic trucker hats featuring either Cheetah prints for $50 or Leopard-patterned versions for $65, or simply choose plain black for $5!