Those Jobs turtlenecks were Winona-made

  • Article by: STEVE ALEXANDER , Star Tribune
  • Updated: October 7, 2011 - 8:16 PM

At $175, the sweaters cost almost as much as the latest iPhone. Sales are up more than tenfold.

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Between 100 and 200 of Steve Jobs’ trademark sweaters are selling daily.

Photo: Justin Sullivan, Getty Images

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The black turtleneck sweaters that Steve Jobs made his trademark came from Winona, Minn., and the company that makes them is reeling under increased demand.

Since the death of the former Apple CEO on Wednesday, Knitcraft Corp. has tripled production. Jobs' death led to an unprecedented increase in sales of $175 black mock turtleneck sweaters identical to the ones made famous by the casually dressed Jobs.

"Normally we might sell 10 of these a day, but today we are selling between 100 and 200 of them through our 13 retail stores and our website," said Bruce Amster, director of stores for Knitcraft's retail partner, the St. Croix Shop, also of Winona.

Although the sweater comes in a rainbow of colors, "the black one is where all the interest is," Amster said.

"I've been in this industry my whole life, and I have never been associated with anything of this magnitude," Amster said. "I think it's because Steve Jobs epitomized the whole Silicon Valley casual lifestyle."

Several years ago, Knitcraft officials examined photos of Jobs and realized he was wearing their sweaters, Amster said. Later, a technology website confirmed it.

To honor Jobs, the St. Croix Shop has decided to donate $20 per sweater to the American Cancer Society for sales through Oct. 16, Amster said. Jobs died of complications from pancreatic cancer.

Steve Alexander • 612-673-4553

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