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New Era: pioneer in headwear

by Christopher Suarez - Campus Talk Editor
Wed, Apr 17th 2019 01:00 pm

Fashion is defined by multiple different aspects of clothing brought into one outfit. Every piece of your outfit is essential to your overall image. That same image is dominated by shirts, pants and sneakers, but those extra accessories can make or break an outfit. In my opinion, the most important accessory is a hat. For men and women, the accessory you put on your head can add that final touch to complete the look. Whether it is baseball hats, fitted hats, bucket hats, beanies, berets, fedoras, etc., your hat will finish off the outfit. 

There are a select few brands who focus strictly on the sale of hats. In the fashion world, the best brands are multi-dimensional, offering different components of fashion. The customer will much rather shop where the brand offers the different pieces one needs in their outfit. But there are still brands that focus on one piece instead of multiple pieces. New Era is one of those brands. 

One of the oldest hat brands in the industry, New Era has been dominating the game for a long time. Founded in 1920 by Ehrhardt Koch, New Era opened its first manufacturing plant in Buffalo, New York. Ehrhardt borrowed $1000 from his sister Rose Koch and started the brand. 

What helped spark the dominance of New Era has been its focus on Major League Baseball (MLB). MLB started growing in popularity in the 1930s. Ehrhardt partnered with his son Harold Koch and Harold ended up becoming a designer of the hats with his father. The two saw MLB and thought to themselves, how could they contribute to the game? They then thought about the revolutionary idea of the baseball hat. The baseball cap was never before seen and it became a pioneer for hats in the world of sports. 

According to neweracap.com, the first New Era baseball cap ever made was for the Cleveland Indians. The cap featured the logo on the middle and a red slightly bent brim. Despite the floppiness of the cap, the New Era baseball cap became a part of the official uniform of the Cleveland Indians. But it was not until the 1950s where the cap became a staple of 16 MLB teams. Some of the teams included were major names in baseball. The Brooklyn Dodgers, Cincinnati Reds and Detroit Tigers were some of the teams that wore the caps. 

Harold then thought of a way to make the hats look more modern and contemporary. This idea became the 59Fifty New Era baseball cap. This hat was a lot different from the first ever hat made. The 59Fifty was not floppy and it looked sleeker and cleaner from the one prior. By the 1980s, New Era was supplying hats for all MLB teams, international baseball leagues, minor leagues and college sports. In the 1990s the brand became the exclusive supplier for on-field caps for the MLB.

Today, New Era is one of the most important names in sports. Three of the major sports leagues work with New Era and are their official supplier for on field and off field headwear. New Era is the official provider for the National Football League (NFL) sideline caps along with the official on-court cap of the National Basketball Association. 

Despite New Era’s connection with sports, the brand has its hand in popular culture. From bucket hats to dad hats, the brand has produced some of the biggest and most popular trends in fashion history. But the one piece that has taken New Era to the next level has been the popularity of the New York Yankees fitted hat. Made popular by music giants like Jay Z, Diddy and Jennifer Lopez, the New York Yankees hat has made it through multiple different eras. 

If you want to try to shop in New Era I would advise you to look at its fitted hats. Priced at only $38, these hats feature a clean design that can compliment any outfit. No matter the age and no matter the gender, New Era hats can be a key contributor to your overall look. 


campustalk.editor@gmail.com | @chrissuarez0428

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