Being tongue-in-cheek is at the center of everything HO HO COCO does — even its name is an exercise in playful irony, translating to "A Very Good Company” from Cantonese.
Founded in 2015, the brand is the brainchild of Janice Lee who launched it after moving to California as a statement on social consumerism. Through its satirical phrases such as "main character," or "out of office," its simple designs act as a messenger for the designer's social commentary.
"Growing up in Hong Kong, I was surrounded by mass consumerism throughout my youth," Lee tells Highsnobiety via email. "When I moved away from home, I noticed a shift in the authenticity of consumer cultures between the East vs the West. Being drawn to visuals as a way to communicate humor, these phrases became personal dialogues with current culture."
The brand began by creating classic baseball caps with humorous slogans embroidered on the front where the iconography of a sporting team would traditionally sit.
"When I first started, hats were the most accessible way for me to produce a wearable product that isn't restricted by the rulings of sizes and measurements — a hat will fit almost anyone," says Lee.
The dad hat's universally-recognizable design lends the limelight to Lee's witty phrases and we've tried our hand at creating our own for an exclusive new collaboration.
Arriving in a washed grey color, the brand's Mit Allem Cap is headwear for grammar-loving döner kebab eaters — created together with this very magazine.
A staple food in our hometown of Berlin, the embroidered phrase on the front of the cap is how you communicate wanting all of the available toppings (lettuce, red cabbage, onion etc.) with your döner. However, it is commonplace for "mit alles" to be used in Döner shops, a grammatically incorrect but famous German phrase that this hat playfully refers to.
Although it has expanded into creating a clothing line and other headwear styles, the dad hat remains HO HO COCO's signature item and has been worn by the likes of Hailey Bieber, Eleni Foureira, and Katy Perry.
Out of its countless phrases, Lee does have one personal favorite that encapsulates what the brand is about. The Central Saint Martins alumni says "my favorite phrase is Adblock Pro. Wearing that almost feels like a virtual practice and commentary on the anti-brand, while acknowledging that there is no escape from capitalism and consumerism."
Check out the brand's latest collection of signature headwear, now available at the Highsnobiety Shop, via the links below.
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