Ashley Biden entered the fashion arena Wednesday with a socially charged line of hoodies called Livelihood Inc. They’re made from organic cotton in neutral colors like navy, gray, blush, and black; cost between $79 to $99; and are completely sourced and manufactured in the US, down to the zipper.
Biden is the 35-year-old daughter of former Vice President Joe Biden and his second wife, Jill. She conceived the line after crossing paths with with Gilt president Jonathan Greller at last year’s National Father’s Day Council, where her dad was honored as “Father of the Year.” In a press release, Biden says she sees the clothing line as a way to support and develop grassroots initiatives that fund schools and offer vocational training and job placement services; all of its launch profits and a portion of proceeds after that will go toward these efforts.
It’s the first foray into the fashion world for Biden, who has been a social worker for many years and has a long history working to promote charity and economic justice. For now, Livelihood is dedicating its proceeds to two distinct regions: Wilmington, Delaware, where Biden was raised, and Southeast DC, where she first practiced as a social worker.
“I chose a hoodie because it is universal,” explains Biden, who also runs the the nonprofit Delaware Center for Justice. Hoodies, she explains, were “once ubiquitous with the labor movement.”
Livelihood is getting some help from another prominent Wilmington native, actress Aubrey Plaza of Parks and Recreation fame. “I think Ashley is incredibly smart and I love her ideas,” she says. “We both talked about our love for Wilmington and for Delaware. I told her how some of the community programs in Wilmington influenced me as a child and helped me get to where I am today—namely, the Wilmington Drama League, a community theater, which allowed me to explore acting at a young age among other like-minded, aspiring artists. It’s places like these I want to support so they can change other people’s lives as well.”
Starting Wednesday, the collection will be available online and at the Gilt shop on 57th Street in New York City.
Correction: A previous version of this article incorrectly referred to Joe Biden’s second wife as Jill Hunter. Dr. Jill Biden’s birth name was Jill Jacobs.