Hood Rats

RAM: Hood RatsFew pieces of clothing enjoy the stature of the hoodie. Maybe a pair of Converse All-Stars or Levis jeans could stir similar devotion. In its first effort for Champion since becoming its digital agency of record in November, Night Agency has tackled the brand's most iconic product looking to harness that connection.

The site invites hoodie heads to custom design their own zip-ups by changing the color and pattern on pockets, sleeves, hoods, zippers and more, all using a user-friendly interface typical of Night Agency. Users can post as many designs as they please (so far 3-5 is typical), vote on others' sweatshirts and share their own via Facebook or other social networking sites with a widget that drives traffic back to the main site. The top vote-getter will be produced by Champion in a limited edition. Judging by the dress code at Night Agency's workspace it is probably not a matter of hyperbole or platitude when cofounder Darren Paul says, "We were personally excited about the idea."

In the first two-and-a-half weeks of the launch, with banners on sites for ESPN, MTV, People and Men's Health as well as Daily Candy pushing people to more than 46,000 designs were posted from 20 different countries. The elimination rounds for the final designs begin in April and run through the end of May. "It's been nice to see the response," says Paul. "We look forward to where it could go." Robert Benchley

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