(hugs:) Universe — the designer behind the updated and modern poncho — is a Denver-based poncho company founded by Lank Pierce and Carrie Yang. This creative duo sought to create something technical and versatile that could be used for the great outdoors. Whether you love hiking, attending music festivals or anything that gets you outdoors, you can surely rely on these unique and innovative pieces. Not only is the fabric of these ponchos made from 100% recycled water bottles, the zippers are also made from 70% recycled plastic water bottles as well. These ponchos also feature amazing, limited edition designs from talented creatives.
For Pierce and Yang, their mission is to show that going outdoors improves overall mental health — so why not do that uninterrupted and in style? With notable figures such as Diane Von Furstenberg and Hillary Glenn Riley aiding in the design process of the ponchos, we expect these to take Denver by storm and majorly impact the fashion world. Here, 303 Magazine showcases how the ever-so-casual poncho — typically worn for rainy weather — can morph into a beautiful element of high fashion.
The Lowdown: Usually reserved for outdoors activities, a poncho can be revitalized and serve as a versatile and stylish clothing piece in everyday wardrobes with the incorporation of denim — a staple most of us have in our current wardrobes. The purpose of the (hugs:) Poncho is to go beyond single-purpose rainwear and into everyday life.
For Creed’s look, we paired curve-hugging, denim bermuda shorts with a bold orange blazer. Although the oversized navy poncho covers much of the chest and arm area, the peek of orange through the sleeves is a stylish way to amp up the distinctive outfit. To accentuate the waist, the addition of a belt was necessary as was a structured and polished handbag. As seen here, orange, pink and red were all colors mixed into this wardrobe. The vintage rule concerned with the disengagement of such colors is now a thing of the past. Now, the infusion of colors, textures and patterns is heavily encouraged.
The Lowdown: Cocktail dresses paired with ponchos seemed a little incompatible, however, when styled precisely these two opposites attract. In this instance, because the tan and navy ponchos are extremely casual pieces made from recycled elements, it is essential for additional clothing and accessories to be slightly formal. To achieve this, short sequined cocktail dresses served as bases of the outfit. The addition of gold high heels, gold jewelry, curve-hugging belts and contemporary handbags shaped the outfits into stylish and versatile entities.
The Lowdown: Styled appropriately, ponchos can be professional pieces worn to work or formal events. Here, models Creed and Duvall donned both tan and navy ponchos but with black and white slacks, high heels, bold jewelry and handbags. When (hugs:) designer, Carrie Yang was asked what her preferred form of incorporating the poncho into her wardrobe she responded with a casual, yet stylish approach. “The (hugs:) Poncho is made for every day wear. We intentionally chose soft and comfy waterproof and breathable technical fabrics, not hard or crunchy like most rain gear. My favorite way to style the (hugs:) Poncho is with a panama hat, a printed blouse, skinny jeans and statement boots.”
Photography by Madison McMullen.
Models provided by Goldie Mae Productions.
Hair by Georgia Tournai.
Makeup by Angelica Medina.
Clothing, shoes and accessories provided by Dillard’s.
Editorial stylist assistant Cruz Arias.