Straight from London, England we had the pleasure of connecting with Matthew Powling to chop up caps. Through our conversation with Matt we got to learn how he got started out in collecting New Era hats, some of his holy grails and even what his favorite brands are. Check the jump to see what other interest facts Mr. Powling talks about. What’s on your mind? Want to show off your collection? Hit us up at firstname.lastname@example.org
Name: Matthew Powling
From: London, England
Social Handles: Twitter (@mpowling11)
Fitted Size: 71/4
What was your first New Era Cap?
It was the Tampa Rays on-field fitted 59Fifty.
When did you start collection?
I started collecting caps back in 2010 and my very first cap was a New Era Tampa Rays on-field fitted which I bought in September of that year. Never really intended on growing my collection, I just wanted to get a Rays cap as I’d supported the team for a number of years but never actually owned anything of theirs and then because I had a MLB cap I wanted one with my NBA team and then Marvel characters and so on, until the collection gradually got bigger and bigger and now I’m hooked.
What are some of your other hobbies?
Used to play rugby at a high level and basketball for my High School but injuries halted my progress and so had to take some time out but have recently started up kickboxing/MMA.
How many caps would you say you have at this point?
I am primarily a New Era Fitted wearer although I do have quite a few snapbacks. I have 45 caps in total, including NE/Mitchell and Ness and Adidas.
What would you say was your first major buy?
My first major ‘buy’ was the NBA x Marvel Miami Heat cap which has Marvel characters on all panels and the Heat logo in the middle.
What are some of your favorite teams?
Although I’m from England, I have a love for American sports. Miami Heat, Tampa Rays and Miami Dolphins are my teams, so I tend to go for caps with their logos on (although in the Peyton Manning Colts days I was a huge fan of theirs, hence owning a couple Colts hats, plus the logo is pretty sick). I’m not fussy when it comes to NHL teams, nor with ABA or MiLB teams so if I’ve seen a logo I like I’ll buy it.
What are your most prized possessions / holy grails?
This pic shows off 7 of my ‘holy grails’ outdoors. My most prized possessions are all the Big Face fitteds – Iron Man 3, Transformers Soundwave, Batman Armour, Red Skull. These hats, I feel are pretty rare and real cool. My current cap that I’ve been wearing the hell out of recently is the Jackson Generals fitted, closely followed by the Wolverine snapback . They’ve both got clean, simple designs that just pop out.
Out of all the different brands you wear “New Era / Mitchell & Ness / Adidas” what are some of the things you like and dislike from these brands?
Since I started collecting, New Era has been my go-to brand. I love their fitteds, especially all the big-face hats they’ve come out with, it’s really unique, as well as the attitude towards trying things out to see what the response is (like the Marvel x NBA series and other collaborations) They’re starting to get the snapback game right too which is great. When they first started doing snapbacks I didn’t get it, and their designs weren’t really anything to get excited about but when they started concentrating on getting designs and fittings right (when they brought in the s-m/m-l ranges) I couldn’t help myself. Although, being a fitted-wearer, it became a bit annoying because when the snapbacks started getting better, the fitted’s started to get a bit boring and it just seemed like they were lacking effort and creativity but since a few years it’s picked up again so I guess we’ll have to see what’s in store for us! I’ve had a minor issue in the past with one of my New Era fitted’s being a little off like the stitching or the sizing, and it’s an issue I think has never really been solved and for a big name brand I’d like to see that sorted out, but when you take into consideration the fact that they’re all put together by hand you have to expect things to not always be 100%. Mitchell & Ness are plain with not a lot of WOW about them.
Where would you say you get most of your hats from?
Being from England, it’s quite difficult to find places that don’t just stock Yankees or Red Sox logos (seriously, everywhere you go you’re guaranteed to find those 2 teams!!) or the occasional New Era Batman logo cap, so I mostly shop around on eBay if I’m after one of my team logos. I’m fortunate enough to be a 45 minute train ride into central London which is where one of the 2 London-based New Era Flagship stores is, the other being in Westfield Stratford which is about an hour away, so I like to make regular trips there to check out any new stock. I would mostly buy comic book character hats there since the team ranges tend to be pretty basic.
What would be the next cap collection you’d like to see new era release?
Tough one! I’d definitely like to see them do a Marvel/DC battle collection, so rather than the characters in battle poses like they’ve done previously, actually have them mid-fight with their enemy e.g. Thor v Loki, Iron Man v War Machine, Batman v Mr Freeze etc.
Any final words?
Would like to thank you guys at New Era Cap Talk for connecting with people who use the site and allowing everyone to interact with each other on the forums etc, there’s a great community-feel. Also, anyone reading this, feel free to follow me on Twitter (@mpowling11) for updates to my collection, I generally post pictures whenever I get new hats in.