Does this Pennsylvania company make the best hoodies in the world?
DRESSING BEIGE, a boutique tucked away in Paris’ 16th arrondissement, offers a cosmopolitan assortment of men’s clothing, including $ 330 mandarin collar shirts from Italian Salvatore Piccolo and $ 1,400 Edward Green tassel loafers. But Beige also offers a much more modest product: hoodies made in the US for $ 150 by Camber USA. (This price is markup internationally, and Americans can find Camber hoodies for half that price.)
Camber’s hoodies are as thick as a bath mat and soft on the inside, like an old blanket that has gone through the spin cycle dozens of times. Some meticulous fleece fans consider them some of the best hoodies in the world. When Matthew Spade, 35, a social media content creator in Blackpool, England, recently embarked on a quest to find the ultimate sweatshirt, Camber’s chunky sweater won the day. He especially likes what he calls Camber’s “hood integrity”. As Mr. Spade demonstrated on a Zoom call, even when worn, the chunky hood stacks up to his earlobes like a permanent scarf.
These sweatshirts, however, are devilishly hard to find in England. When the very few UK-based online stores that sell Camber products publish them online, they “sell faster than a hiccup, that’s actually ridiculous,” Mr Spade said. International online sites often charge exorbitant shipping costs or do not deliver to the UK. Mr. Spade decided to buy his gray Camber hoodie from a friend.
It’s not just Europe that cherishes cambering. On Instagram, you can often find posts of Japanese people wearing impeccably dressed sweatshirts, with the hashtag #CamberUSA. Search Camber USA on YouTube and you’ll find a video of an enthusiastic American with the partial title “BEST Made in USA Sweatshirt”.
Camber may have a worldwide reputation, but it achieves it despite its indifferent approach to marketing. Camber is “a little elusive,” said Robert Davison, 26, a Brooklyn graphic designer and camber enthusiast. He couldn’t even find an Instagram account for the business when he looked recently.