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What and who is hoochi?
I’m Levana and I’m the creator of ‘hoochi.’ I started hoochi because I’m always adventuring, hiking and handstanding, but had nothing to wear! I needed an alternative to leggings — something flowy and authentic, like my spirit, but that doesn’t cling to my booty! Oh and pockets — yeah i needed those. Cue hoochi — a happy pant to dance and play in, without worrying about your skirt floating up.
At hoochi we empower women through happy pants that hug your soul, not your bum. One size that actually fits all, a sisterhood of the traveling pants vibe if you will. And deep pockets for deep women... pockets being the number one feminist tool, of course.
In hoochis, I finally feel free. I feel covered. I feel powerful. I step in hoochis and become my true self. The photoshoots aren’t photoshoots. They are legit hoochi parties. Girls come, we put on hoochis, we dance, we laugh, we connect, we spread our light and inspire each other.
But more than that, it’s about redefining what it means to be hoochi. When you think hoochi, you think hoochi mama. You think tight and sexy. But we’ve reclaimed the term and made it ours. It’s about spunk. About happiness. About girls supporting girls. Girls loving each other, empowering each other and raising each other up... in our hoochi pants.
How did you start hoochi?
Hoochi started by mistake. I always wore drop crotch pants, but they didn’t exist in comfy, stretchy, hoochi fabric. They only existed in woven fabric. No stretch. No pockets. No hoochi. So I went on a journey to make my own.
How did you logistically start making hoochi pants?
I started by learning about fabrics, patterns and garments. I went from factory to factory, from pattern maker to pattern maker and to several fabric distributors to figure out how to make the best product possible. After changing the fit countless times and after endless hours of skating, yoga and running in the pants, I finally found my dream product.
After you had your final product, how did you get it out into the world?
I never did any real marketing, I just wore them everywhere — people would constantly come up to me and ask me about my pants. I told them I made them and I had some in my car or my backpack. They would venmo me and leave as a hoochi mama. I would walk into stores and the store owner would ask me where I got my pants and the same thing would happen. I never tried to sell: attraction not promotion was my marketing strategy and I didn’t even know it. To this day, I still haven't done any marketing.
What’s next for hoochi?
I’m looking into different agencies and individuals, but everything has fallen into my lap so far. It’s been such a miracle. Everything with hoochi just happened to flow through me: the website was created, photoshoots happened — but they weren't really photoshoots — just hoochi dance parties with the best photographers and choreographers and hoochi mama models being sent my way. The brand is growing. One day at a time. Thank G-d. but seriously, you put on these pants and you never want to take them off.
Covering your hair, is more often than not, a religiously affiliated form of modesty. The covering of a woman's hair is symbolic of its sacredness. Hijabs, sheitals, kippahs, turbans, veils, kamilavka, dastars are all an expression of modesty. Throughout 16th and 17th century England, and America until the turn of the twentieth century, veils, ornate caps, bonnets and ladies’ hats were worn by many Christians to cover the sacredness of their hair, as well. Between the feminist revolution of the 60s, rapidly changing Western culture and the influence of Hollywood and the media on society, it’s no surprise that the fashion reflected globally throughout each decade in the later half of the 20th century is radically different than what came before. The tradition of hair covering faded with the 60s, but the tradition hasn’t been lost completely, just like the tradition of and value in modesty hasn’t been completely lost either. We are a community of modern modest women living in 21st century America; proof that tradition can find a place in mainstream fashion.
Many women in our community, our team included, found modesty later in life - a once lost or forgotten value. The decision to explore modesty externally usually begins with the understanding that there is something private, something that’s your own that you’re meant to keep to yourself and your close ones. Once you commit to that understanding, the next step is usually reflecting that belief in your dress; baby steps like wearing longer skirts or baggier pants and tops with sleeves and high necklines. As that decision to explore modesty continues, you may find that mindset goes further like wearing more full-coverage activewear, swimsuits and, eventually, to some, coverage over your hair. Speaking to Tamar Tzubeli, now Abda, we identified with her journey in modesty as she finds her footing in expressing modesty through hair covering. She wasn’t a stranger to the practice but it wasn’t something she necessarily considered for herself.
“I never had any pressure to cover my hair. It was more of a decision I made when I got engaged. Before that I actually didn't even think about it, believe it or not. I have really great hair. I was blessed with naturally amazing hair that I have to do nothing to.”
Not only did Tamar share her story, but she also curated a special collection of scarves for women of all faiths or those who just want to wear them as a statement piece or accessory! Shop Tamar’s picks below and make sure to #scarfitup as you post your scarf looks!!
Read more about Tamar's
hair covering journey