New Era – The King of Hats

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If you roam through the closets of usual fans of street and urban culture you will most probably stumble upon different clothing ranging from baggy hip-hop outfits to skinny skate wear, but there be definitely one thing that will unite all the “urban closets” – New Era caps.

New Era Cap Company was founded under a different name ninety years ago in New York by a German immigrant Ehrhardt Koch and immediately started pushing for success. In 1922 it officially became New Era, in 1934 started producing first baseball caps and in 1954 developed its famous 59Fifty fitted cap standard. In the following 30 years the company became the supplier of caps for 23 of 24 Major Baseball League teams and hundreds of other independent clients, some even not related to any sport. Finally in 1986 the company made an important decision and began selling the MBL caps to general public calling it – “Wear what the pros wear “. It became a very successful trend and was widely accepted by hip-hop and urban cultures, which usually tend to support local neighborhoods, home cities and of course local baseball teams. Eventually the fitted caps were adopted as an important visual element of hip-hop and almost all urban clothing companies started producing them allowing the New Era logo to become a brand.

Today clothing lines use New Era as a basis for their designs, ranging from major lines like the LRG up to some underground crews that have their clothing line like the L.A’s Wild Ones. Of course traditionally the designs include all the traditional sport or city styled images, but each year there are more and more independently designed and creative caps like the new Celeste Cap by King Apparel. Often the design represents a play on an existing NewEra cap, like the wild ones cap mentioned above, plating on the popular LA sign standing for… surprise Los Angeles. One of the best things about New Era is that in many countries it is directly associated with hip-hop music, more than any other clothing or attribute. Often it is purchased by rappers even regardless of the main brand. New Era caps are used as elements of break-dance and on-stage show by lots of different artists. New Era became one of the attributes that united people involved in urban culture worldwide and became something of a sign.

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