Leopard print, Lagerfeld, and luxury aren’t the the first things that come to most people’s minds when they think of a baseball cap, but things have started to change. In 1996, when Spike Lee first asked New Era to make him a red custom Yankees fitted, it began to usher the New Era brand outside the realm of being just another “sportswear company.” This opened the doors to many different styles and designs of New Era caps being produced, featuring everything from countless custom color combinations of professional and college sports teams, to comic/cartoon characters, and streetwear brands. Recently, a new cap trend has started to emerge: the high-end couture New Era cap. The baseball cap has made its way from the field to the streets, and now to the catwalk.
Many high-end brands have started to collaborate with New Era, designing their own custom cap creations, featuring new levels of imagination and creativity displayed on a New Era cap, using luxurious materials and patterns, such as animal print, lace, leather, crystals and much more! The result is incredible eye-catching headwear! These couture caps are now sold in high-end boutiques all over the world and are also worn by celebrities. In addition, they have been embraced by many cap collectors and high-end fashion enthusiasts and bloggers, which has inspired more Women To Wear Caps Too! We wanted to take a look at some of the best of these New Era collaborative high-end caps. So, strike your best catwalk pose and get ready for ‘NECTalk’s Top Couture New Era Caps, Collections and Collaborations.’ The Couture New Era cap is a hot trend that is gaining in popularity, and we can’t wait to see what the future holds. We look forward to seeing what new creations and designs come to life as these high-end brands continue to Fly Their Own Flag on the New Era cap.
10. Kye x New Era Fringe Collection
Kye is a South Korean brand founded by designer Kathleen Kye. Her experimental designs are usually “inspired from a dream and from the street and friends.” She also incorporates her Korean heritage into her clothing, which is exactly what she did with this cap collection. The hats were sold for $200 at Opening Ceremony, who dubbed them a meeting between Korean and American culture. They stated that “This piece matches an American Classic – the 59FIFTY from baseball cap originators New Era – with straight-up Seoul style: a fringe of shiny gold chains.” Couture is all about being flashy and fabulous and when you walk down the street wearing this Kye x New Era cap, you will be sure to turn heads wherever you go. Just make sure to watch where you’re going!
9. New York Yankees x Swarvoski x New Era Europe Fitted
Who said sportswear can’t sparkle? In the summer of 2013, New Era Europe collaborated with the New York Yankees and world-famous Austrian crystal brand Swarovski for this flashy fitted. The cap is made out of authentic crocodile leather, with the NY Yankees logo on the front, encrusted with over 400 individual Swarovski crystals! It was available in two crystal colorways: either white or ‘All Black Everything.’ It also came with its own satin-lined case, which has a mirror inside, so you can admire how fabulous you look wearing it. This extremely limited fitted was released to commemorate New Era Europe’s grand opening of the New Era Frankfurt Flagship store, with people coming from all over Germany to try and purchase one. New Era fans love to speak with their caps but, in this case, if they wanted to purchase one of these hats, they also needed to be able to speak with their wallets, as these caps retailed for £225.00/€275.00. With this Swarovski fitted, New Era Europe showed that not only can sportswear sparkle, but they can also brag that out of of the countless custom Yankees caps in the world, they released the flashiest (excluding 50 Cent’s custom black diamond encrusted fitted). Just remember: this cap is made out of crocodile leather, encrusted with crystals and comes in a satin carrying case with a mirror inside – ’nuff said.
8. Mark McNairy New Amsterdam ‘Be Nasty’ New Era Snapback
Mark McNairy is an American designer and founder of the brand New Amsterdam, which is “defined by a strong sense of sartorial history with an eye fixed on the future.” GQ named him “one of the best New Menswear designers in America” and Complex said he was the “Man of the Year in style 2012.” McNairy also has a long list of fashion collaborators, including Adidas and Crescent Down Works. He is also not afraid of stirring things up in fashion, recently linking up with rapper Cam’ron to design a line of custom capes. McNairy even collaborated with headwear manufacturer New Era on a pair of Derby shoes! (We’re not sure these ever had an official release). His collaboration with New Era that makes our list is his ‘Be Nasty’ snapback from his New Amsterdam Fall 2013 collection. The cap comes in black with a green under-bill and is embroidered with the Motto “Be Nasty” on the front and the side. It retailed for $78.00. Rapper Pusha-T wore this snapback on the runway as a model for the Mark McNairy New York Fashion Week Show in 2013. With this cap, McNasty put the fashion world on notice that the New Era snapback not only has a place in streetwear but also on the runway.
7. Maison Kitsuné ‘Parisien’ New Era Fitted
Maison Kitsuné was founded in 2001 by Gildas Loaëc, former Manager and Artistic Director of Daft Punk and Masaya Kuroki. They based their brand on the vision of connecting the worlds of music, fashion and design. They have collaborated with many brands,”both the young and avant-garde as well as the more perennial and classic.” Maison Kitsuné describe themselves as a brand that “redefines classics,” which is what they did in 2012 with the iconic New Era 59FIFTY fitted, giving it a “Parisien twist.” The cap is low-key and comes in a navy blue crown and red visor with “Parisien” embroidered on the front. Maison Kitsuné recently released a navy and yellow version of the same fitted. If you feel like your New Era cap game needs a “Parisien” twist, there are still some of these caps available at Maison Kitsuné.
6. Karl Lagerfeld x Tokidoki x New Era Collection
Iconic German designer Karl Lagerfeld has stated: “I can do whatever I want,” so he decided to collaborate with creative lifestyle brand Tokidoki to release a collection of New Era 59FIFTY fitteds to kick off 2014. These caps feature the signature Tokidoki cartoon style. Lagerfeld is known for being confident and blunt and some of the hats in this collection reflect this, featuring the message “LOVE KARL.” Another hat displays an all-over cartoon pattern of the designer. Our favorite cap in this drop is embroidered with a caricature of Lagerfeld on the front of the hat wearing his signature blazer, size 28 jeans and infamous black shades. Karl Lagerfeld believes “sweatpants are a sign of defeat,” and if you buy a pair, you’ve lost control over your life. He certainly does not feel the same way about the baseball cap and with this collection, he proves that the New Era fitted not only belongs in sportswear but also in high-end fashion.
5. Marc Jacobs x New Era Collection
Not only is Marc Jacobs the founder and head designer of world-renowned brands ‘Marc Jacobs’ and Marc by Marc Jacobs, from 1997 to 2103, he was also the Creative Director of French fashion house Louis Vuitton. He is also currently the Creative Director of Diet Coke. Always on the pulse of what is hot in the world of fashion and design, Marc Jacobs collaborated with New Era in 2011 for the Marc Jacobs x New Era collection (one of the earliest high-end New Era collaborations). This collection was designed with a more casual and mature look in mind. It is comprised of Melton grey wool fitteds featuring embroidery, including MJ, as well as New York and Paris – a nod to two of the world’s fashion capitals: New York – where Jacobs is from and got his start in the fashion industry – and Paris, where he currently resides. Unlike a lot of luxury caps, these fitteds aren’t flashy and could be worn on almost any occasion. Even the most hard-core cap purists, not into couture caps, would probably want to add these fitteds to their New Era cap collections.
4. Holt Renfrew x New Era Collection
At NECTalk, we all know that Women Can Wear New Era Caps Too! and so does Holt Renfrew. In 2013, the high-end Canadian department store collaborated with New Era to release a massive women’s cap collection, featuring 9FIFTY snapbacks, with a wide variety of luxurious patterns and materials: metallic gold, leopard print, snakeskin, buffalo plaid, tartan, leather, and suede. With this collection, Holt Renfrew shows that the New Era cap can be highly fashionable for women and, also, that couture New Era headwear deserves a spot on the shelves of high-end stores and boutiques all around the world.
3. Jeremy Scott x New Era summer 2013 Collection
Whether you love or hate his designs, it cannot be denied that Jeremy Scott has no fear when it comes to breaking the rules in fashion and expressing his creativity. He proves this in his Summer 2013 New Era collection by using a wide variety of luxurious materials and patterns, such as cheetah print, fake leather, fake crocodile, ostrich, and snake skin. If these are the types of caps you would wear, then just like Jeremy Scott, you’re probably not afraid to break the rules in regards to fashion and style. We know there are a lot of you out there, because any time Jeremy Scott and New Era work together, the caps are always hot sellers!
2. House of Holland x New Era Europe Collection
House of Holland, a “London-Based Design House Extravaganza” founded by British designer Henry Holland, is a popular high-end brand known for their fun and creative designs, which is demonstrated in their collaborative collection with New Era Europe. In January 2014, House of Holland released two drops in the same month, which feature caps in vibrant all-over prints, tattoo designs and leather. The standout caps are snapbacks made out of either pink or purple lace – the first time this sensual material has ever been used on a New Era cap. With this collection, House of Holland let the fashion world know that not only can baseball caps be fun, fashionable and creative, but also sexy!
1. Kenzo x New Era Fall 2013 Collection
High-end Parisian fashion house Kenzo has been going strong since 1970. It was originally named Jungle Jap, a shop in Paris where the brand’s founder Kenzo Takada sold his handmade women’s clothing. Today, the brand’s creative directors, Carol Lim and Humberto Leon, “have a passion for spontaneity and fun.” This is demonstrated in Kenzo’s many colorful collaborations with New Era, which are influenced by pop culture and display a high level of creativity. The Kenzo x New Era hats are very popular with cap collectors, as well as fashion enthusiasts, and always sell out in no time, which is why the brand’s fall 2013 collection tops our list. Our favorite of all the Kenzo x New Era collections, the Fall 2013 drop, features vibrant and wild all-over print on the Tiger Heads, Flying Tiger and Flowers 59FIFTY fitteds. The Day Clouds and Night Clouds caps feature an incredible shiny and reflective material, making these hats stand out wherever they are worn, day or night! As a long time collaborator with New Era, Kenzo has showed time and time again that the world of luxury fashion and New Era go hand in hand and can result in some spectacular pieces! We can’t wait to see what these two brands create as they continue to work with each other. We’re also excited to see what the future holds, as high-end brands continue to collaborate with New Era and make their mark on the iconic New Era cap.
images: 10.Highsnobette, 8.Hypebeast, 5.Marc Jacobs