This weeks Cap Talk – What’s on Your Mind segment is with Van Le, who is also one of the original members from #CrewEra13. He discusses his chance to create his own custom New Era 59Fifty fitted hat, his Championship belt, and other intriguing factors about his New Era collection. You won’t want to miss this read click the jump! What’s on your mind? Want to show off your collection – hit us up at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Name: Van Le
Where are you from? Issaquah, WA; near Seattle
Social handles: @vanle23 for both Twitter and Instagram. Also Vanlethal on YouTube and www.vanle23.blogspot.com
How nice is it to be a Seattle Seahawks fan right about now? Its awesome, but we understand it doesn’t mean much unless it ends with Super Bowl wins. Yes, I expect more than 1 with Russell Wilson and this group of guys. “Separation is in the preparation.” Its also great for the city of Seattle especially where it was at 5 years ago after the SuperSonics left and the other sports teams were not doing too well.
We have to ask – What’s the deal with the championship belt? I grew up a big pro wrestling fan. I got it back in 2005 as a birthday gift to myself. It’s a real cool thing to have. I wore it in public a few times, and get so much props for it, and also people trying to fight for the title haha.
How convenient is it to have the cap organizers from Hat Club? They’re really cool. Easy to store and transport. Also with it being clear, it makes it easier to find a cap. I have it organized by colors and style (got a couple for non fitted hats) Thanks to Hat Club for them, I’ll probably need to get some more pretty soon.
Where do you store them all? In a closet, under the bed in the attic? They used to be in the closet, but now it in the guest room since no one is really there. Before I got the cap carriers, they just used to be all over the place in my room, as I would wear them and put it on top of my desk or somewhere.
What did your visit to New Era HQ entail with the #crewera13 family? An incredible blessing and experience. Got to meet some great people, got some free stuff, and start a movement amongst what I hope to be life long friends. It was an honor to be personally selected by New Era Caps as one of 10 people as part of the fan appreciation/ VIP experience. An all expense paid trip to Buffalo and to spend a couple of days to hang out with the folks at New Era, and also to meet the other cap collectors. Got to hang out at the HQ, and a tour of the factory out in Derby, where they make the hats and see the 22 step process. We also were able to design an one-of-a-kind hat with their lead design team. A once in a lifetime experience, but we all hope we get to go back some day, hopefully for a reunion and since this was the first time New Era has done something like this, that it keeps happening on a yearly basics.
What’s the deal with that gold Seahawks custom 59Fifty? That was the custom design hat I was able to make with Drew (one of the lead designers) during my trip to Buffalo back in June. The idea was to make a Seattle Seahawks fitted in UW Huskies colors to represent where I’m from There was so much that goes into designing the hat, from the materials you want to have on the hat, and the details. They make it so easy with a few clicks on the Macs. It was impressive to see how they enjoy doing what they do. I was amazed to see the finished product, and they were some minor details that I noticed that Drew and I didn’t even talk about, but I was very happy on how it turned out. I already have given all the caps to friends and family, and I know that some other people were looking to get it. It is a sample, so it won’t be for sale, but it’s cool that I had a part in making a New Era Fitted. I do look forward to getting the other #CrewEra13 custom fitteds in the next few months.
You’ve got a large collection, if someone would peek through would they find more team customs or branded caps? Mostly team customs in various sports in an assortment of colors and designs. I do have some on-field caps, but mostly I get ones with different colors and/or logos. While I have a lot of hats to rep the city of Seattle, I like to have a wide variety of teams and colors. I think my goal is to get all the teams in all the major sports, although I don’t think I could get a OKC Thunder and a SF 49ers hat due to my loyalty to my Seattle teams. I do have some branded caps like Crooks & Castles and The Hundreds, among other streetwear brand. I mean, if I see a cap I like, I’ll try to get it, although it also has to make sense to spend the money on it too.
Do you wear any other New Era product other than hats? I do have a few T-Shirts, and also got a carrier bag and a backpack, which are very nice.
What would you say is New Era’s best release to date? The NFL hats, that was huge. I was so excited when I hear the news about the NFL license. I also do like the Diamond Era Collection for MLB, as I’ve been looking for more of the breathable mesh type of cap in a fitted.
What is your favorite place to shop? Online. Sites I do check out are Lids (better online than in-store), NewEraCap, ECapCity, MyFitteds, Cranium, RockNJock, Hatland and also Ebay. But now there are so many different sites, you just got to be a the hunt to find something. If I do see something while shopping, then I’ll get it, but basically check daily for hats online.
Do you remember your first hat, when you started collecting and how it got to this point? My first New Era hat was back in 1998; a baby blue NY Yankees fitted. One thing I remember about that hat was that it didn’t have the NE flag on the side, so it was extra clean. Got it as a birthday gift and wore that all though high school. I got serious about getting hats after high school in 2002, when I had a part time job. 2006: As a senior in college, my teacher asked me how many caps I had (which was around 60 at the time), and that was when I realized just how serious I was into wearing hats and caps. Now it isa never-ending collection, and plan to wear all of them at least a few times, so can’t stop, wont stop.
Are you into superhero hats? Not as much as some other people, I prefer more sports teams hats. I do have some caps from cartoons I grew up watching like Thundercats, The SImpsons and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. If I do like the cap and it was a part of something I grew up with, then I’ll find a way to get it.
What does NewEraCapTalk mean to you? It allows me to connect with other collections around the world and see what they’re repping or what they like, as well as get the latest updates on all things New Era Cap. It is now one of the main sites I have to check up on the regular to see if there is anything new.
What one piece of advice do you have for fellow cap collectors? Be grateful and humble, not just with hats, but life in general. A cap for me is a way to express myself, as well as look good so I can feel good. It works as a cool conversation piece, whether it the team, or the colors, and I have people wanted to try to wear it from time to time. I usually let the females wear it for a bit, but I make sure to get it back before the end of the night. There has been a couple of times I have lose a cap because of that reason.
Any final words? Thanks you guys, #CrewEra13, New Era Caps and also all those I got to meet for the love and support in the hat game. Keep it growing.