by Liz Tarnof
Spirit Hoods. The animal inspired faux fur hoods and accessories company officially started in 2010 with a couple of friends, a business plan scribbled on a napkin, and a dream to give back to the endangered species that inspire their beautiful hood designs. San Diego Informer spoke with founder and co-owner Alexander Mendaluk to discuss Spirit Hood’s new spring line, their collaboration with Australia’s popular fashion label Black Milk, as well as some exciting new My Little Pony hoods. Yes, you heard us right. My. Little. Pony.
Alexander discussed with us how he graduated from college hoping to find a community of like-minded people that he could relate to:
“In college I had taken a Native American studies course and I was really drawn to the power of tradition and the power of community that seems to be so lost within our society this day and age.”
Through this mindset, Spirit Hoods was manifested. For Spirit Hood fans that have seen their past collections, we all know that they were known for their initial collaboration with Black Milk to create the Grey Wolf Galaxy Print hood. Sad to say, this hood won’t be coming back as it was limited edition, but we are excited to reveal exclusive details about their upcoming hoods and their amazing designs. Fans will not be disappointed!
San Diego Informer: Can you tell us the background story of Spirit Hoods and how it came about as an online company?
Alexander: Well, once upon a time, a friend Marley and I, who is my business partner now, had gone and traveled to Burning Man. A friend of ours showed us how to make a couple hoods and they were very basic primitive hood patterns, like two pieces of fabric and a couple ears. Marley and I were making them for friends and family, just for fun. I moved down to Los Angeles and I decided to wear one out and people went absolutely nuts. I went to this party in Hollywood and people wanted to take pictures, they wanted touch it, to feel it, to try it on, they wanted to know where I got it, and how they could get one. That was the light bulb moment where I thought to myself, “wow, this could really be something.”
SDInformer: Since you are an online retailer, you have to do a lot of self-promoting via social media. Do you think it’s important for a brand to own a certain niche on social media platforms?
A: Yeah, absolutely, without a doubt. That’s ultimately what sets you apart. I mean, what’s the alternative. The alternative is to be broad and just like everybody else. But, there’s so many micro causes and so many pro communities out there that there is truly something for everybody.
SDInformer: When can we expect the spring line to be released?
A: We should be rolling it out starting now. The first hood [should] be the brown husky, but the new stories that are really exciting are the My Little Pony collection and the new Black Milk clothing collection. We just partnered with Hasbro and it’s going to be the first My Little Pony Spirit Hoods ever made. They’re pretty awesome, I’m not gonna lie.
SDInformer: Exciting! We saw the pictures that were posted for the Black Milk collab, the hoods with the aurora skies. We love those by the way, those are so amazingly beautiful. Has it been figured out which designs won the popular vote?
A: We got a ton of feedback, and we’re going to be dropping the black cat with the green aurora here in the next few weeks. My Little Pony will probably be released around the same time. It’s all kind of dropping mid this month to the beginning of May.
SDInformer: Is there anything else you would like Spirit Hood fans to know?
A: We’re going to be throwing a badass pop-up shop starting here on Saturday [March 14th] and it’s going until the 19th. It’s called Verve. It’s taking place in Venice. It’s going to be a gallery setting with a bunch of art, and we’re gonna have a pop-up shop showcasing the spring collection before we release it. We’ll be holding a bunch of different contests. If people come and join our Facebook group, our mailing list, or follow our Instagram page, they’ll get information on it.
Spirit Hoods will be selling merchandise at the Verve pop-up shop and will have their spring collection on display for all to see.