Wednesday, November 24, 2004


Monogrammy – Celebrity craze for 2005?

According to UK baseball caps specialists the fashion ‘must-have’ for 2005 may already be starting to emerge thanks in part to some of the biggest name in pop and rap. Early signs seem to suggest that in 2005 fashionistas will be adopting baseball caps with lettered logos from pro sports teams which match their own initials.

Britney Spears may have introduced the monogram concept earlier this year when she wore a
Birmingham Barons baseball cap in the controversial video for ‘Every Time’. Britney had fans wondering, why she opted for such a relatively unknown Minor League team, and cap? Is the stylised ‘B’ on the front of the baseball cap for Britney?

Many rap and r'n'b artists wear a baseball cap that’s synonymous with the area or city they come from.
Usher is seldom far from his Atlanta Braves caps and scores of New York rappers wear their Yankees caps with pride. However, one of the founding fathers of urban style, Snoop Dogg has gone against convention and has been spotted in a San Diego Padres cap, which just happens to bare the intertwined letters, ‘SD’.

Most recently, rapper-come-preacher-come-rapper-again,
Mase, chose a Brewers baseball cap for the cover of his ‘Welcome Back’ album. The Brewer’s, unlike Mase, are from Milwaukee. The Brewer’s cap has a large ‘M’ proudly displayed up front.

Ian Spencer of UK baseball cap specialists, said “It might just be a coincidence, but we are starting to see more of our customers buy caps that have their initials.” He added, “Major League Baseball caps lend themselves well to monogram as, unlike in hockey or basketball, the clubs tend to opt for traditional lettered logos on their merchandising”Who knows?

If a few more big name artists follow suit, the monogram baseball cap could be next summer's Von Dutch. is currently building a 'Who, Wear, What' celebrity baseball cap picture archive, which can be viewed at

Sunday, October 31, 2004


Von Ditched

UK headwear specialists, offers customers who purchased Von Dutch caps a full refund on the back of racism allegations.

The Von Dutch logo is adorned by the biggest names in music, film, television and sport. In 2004, the Von Dutch Originals fashion label expects to triple their previous year's earnings of $33 million(1) And it's all built on a name.

Von Dutch was the founding father of the 1960s 'Kustom Kar' paint craze. Formerly known as Kenneth Howard, he was accredited with inventing the freestyle pin-striping and painted flames which became the defining marques of California car subculture.

He is mostly associated with two images - a flying eyeball and the stylised version of the nickname he adopted for himself, 'Von Dutch'. He died in 1992, age 63, but these images were licensed by his heirs to Los Angeles-based 'Von Dutch Originals'. And thanks, in part, to celebrity patrons, the Von Dutch logo now adorns T shirts and trucker caps globally.

According to an article published in the Orange County Weekly(2) there's a much darker and lesser known side to the man behind the ubiquitous cap.

The article alleges that acquaintances of Von Dutch claim that he was a racist with all the trappings of a neo-Nazi and that he couldn't tolerate black people. A letter written by Von Dutch while heavily medicated, reportedly closes with 'Heil Hitler.'

In an unprecedented move, UK cap specialists, have withdrawn all Von Dutch caps from their site. They're offering customers who purchased Von Dutch caps from ( a full refund on the hats return, regardless of when they bought it.

Ian Spencer of said "The allegations coming out are pretty shocking. Von Dutch was certainly one of our most sought after styles. We appreciate that the Von Dutch racism reports are alleged, but nevertheless, we feel that giving our customers this option is the right thing to do."

Press Release issued October 2004.


Fifty years old and still on top

Golfers wear them and so do Brownies. Every Hollywood director since Steven Spielberg did ‘Jaws’ considers it part of their work wardrobe. It’s a US import which has become an integral part of British society. And this year it has a special birthday. The baseball cap is fifty.

Up until 1954, it was up to individual baseball players to choose a hat to keep the sun out their eyes. Some went for straw boaters, others preferred jockey caps. There was no consistency amongst players, let alone teams. So, in 1954, a hat company called New Era came up with the standard issue cap known as the ‘59Fifty’. This brought uniformity to the game and fifty years on, it’s still the official cap of Major League Baseball.

In the late 70s and early 80s the American public became interested in wearing the caps worn by their favourite team and the big names in the game. The trend took hold and the baseball cap eventually made its way into every part of American society, including Hollywood and most importantly, the music scene.

In 1994, New York film maker Spike Lee asked the cap manufacturers to make him a fitted Yankees cap in 'unofficial' colours. At first they thought it was a strange request – who’d want a cap that's not identical to the Pros? But Spike got what he wanted, people noticed, and demand for hats like his took off making Spike Lee the founder of the fitted fashion cap.

The baseball cap made its way to the UK a while ago, but the last 4 years has seen extraordinary growth, largely due to the increasing number of homes with satellite TV. Through MTV, artists like Limp Bizkit’s Fred Durst helped introduce the UK to the New York Yankees cap. This was around the time when the British public were keen to show their solidarity with New York after the 9/11 tragedy.

Baseball caps continue to grow in popularity and the music industry retains its influence over what’s hot. Usher is currently doing his bit for the Atlanta Braves while Britney fly’s the flag for the Birminham Barons. Hats off to the baseball cap.

Pree release isued 23 July 2004 by baseball caps

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