VICE takes us “Behind The Seams” to the creator of the iconic, totally cool and totally ugly Bill Cosby sweater. Koos van den Akker, a Dutch fashion designer and skilled seamster, came to this country in 1968 and forever stepped up the American sweater game. After Bill wore one of Koos’ signature pattern-blocking sweaters on an episode of The Cosby Show, mail flooded in from viewers asking where they could cop one. Koos believes his one-of-a-kind garment paved way for decades of inspired imitators:

“When I did this, there was nothing like that around, so people were freaked out, like, ‘what the fuck is that?’ …(holding the sweater) This is a very thin line between absolutely awful and something of genius. I mean, somebody can look at this and say ‘what the fuck is this? This is the most horrible thing’ and somebody else says it’s inspiration.”

Watch Koos van den Akker talk about his inspirations, the legacy of the Bill Cosby sweater, and the process of stitching one together, after the jump…

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