July 8, 2014

Spike Lee on Fashion Culture Panel for New Era Heritage Series Baseball Caps



Who knew the history that comes with something as simple as a baseball cap? An accessory that comes with your child's baseball uniform which, up until now, I have taken for granted.

Spike Lee on Fashion Culture Panel for New Era Heritage Series

Note: Written by guest blogger, Kimberly Thomas, publisher of Valley Stream Mom and Mommy The Queen, is mommy to an 8 year old daughter, born in Brooklyn and a 6 year old son, born in Queens. I’m waiting for a rap or break dancing battle to start in my living room at any given time.


As a fan of Spike Lee's very first film and on, I had no idea he would have such an impact upon the fashion behind baseball caps. Yankee fans will now be able to add to their collection a wool, leather or wool 59/50 red Yankees cap.

Spike Lee on Fashion Culture Panel for New Era Heritage Series

Back in the '90s, film writer Spike Lee simply wanted a red cap to match his red down Yankee jacket. They couldn't be found in stores so he had the audacity to call up former Yankees owner George Steinbrenner on a whim and ask him to make one. Lee said it took the sports giant a day or so to call him back with a response. He said yes, but not before he checked with the New Era folks who have now been making caps for baseball teams for four generations.

It's said that Steinbrenner, known as a traditionalist then, said if it's good for New Era, it's good for the Yankees, then it's good for baseball.

The fashion trend began and boy has it made a lasting impact. This simple request totally changed the New Era business model which currently continues to stay true to it's roots but now does 30% of it's business is now fashion.

What I impact has fashion made on youth? When Spike was a kid growing up on Brooklyn, the worst thing a kid could wear was an "M-O" which stands for "immotation!" The audience erupted in laughter. Kids then had to dress authentically. They used to match from head to toe.

According to cultural tastemaker Stephen Malbon, teens today wear white tees and dickies with name brand belts and they're good for the summer. That's a $500-$800 belt folks. Spike's son recently asked him for a $500 designer belt and was told to go get a job.

Celebrities and designers simply put things on Instagram and minutes later the item or brand is a hit.

"Young people want to make a statement with what they wear and look up to their favorite musicians and athletes," says Brooklyn native Elena Romero author of Free Stylin': How Hip Hop Changed the Fashion Industry.

Spike Lee on Fashion Culture Panel for New Era Heritage Series

About Spike Lee + New Era

The blue Yankees cap, as you may know, is the most iconic cap in the entire world. Back in the late 90’s Spike called the CEO of New Era and wanted him to create a red New York Yankees cap for him to wear to the World Series. New Era and MLB approved the cap because they knew Spike would be on TV and the cap would generate some buzz….little did they know that moment would literally change cap culture forever!

Today, New Era offers thousands of varieties in cap options and colors for men, women and children and New Era gives Spike a lot of the credit for paving the way.

29 comments:

Andi Wiener said...

i didn't think Spike Lee would get credit for tihs....

Katrina said...

My kid better never ask me for a $500 belt! lol I don't even own a handbag that expensive and I'm in my thirties!

Evelyn Amick said...

This is really interesting

Chrissy Mazzocchi said...

I've always seen the blue ones everywhere but now a red one that's really cool although I am an Orioles fan ;)

Angela Kinder said...

I'm a Rangers fan, but I found this fascinating. It's amazing what social media today does to brands. Even if a celebrity says they don't like a brand on Twitter or Facebook, everyone else starts to hate it too.

And a $500 belt?? I think the most expensive piece of clothing I own is a dress worth $100!

Nicole said...

That's a cool history lesson. I had know idea! I love hearing when one person is able to make such an impact.

Katrina Lutchman said...

I can't believe the price of some things these days. And I fear the day my daughter gets roped into wanting outrageously expensive clothes and accessories when her money would be better spent on an education or an RRSP.

Rebecca Swenor said...

Okay first if my son asked for a $500 belt I would tell him the same thing. lol Stars are the ones to start the fashion statements I believe., Thanks for sharing.

Cintia Tekla said...

I don't like these kind of caps. On people who love them and can wear it it looks great but I can't imagine on myself.

Mrs. Mashed Up said...

Spike Lee has definitely always done his own thing, both in cinema or fashion. He definitely has his own style.

Bonnie Gowen said...

Thanks for sharing this. This was a very interesting read. =)

Michele D said...

$500 belt? Holy Wow! My son knows better. He is right go get a job. Would of said the same thing.

Sarah Mueller said...

I had no idea there was such history behind Spike Lee! Thanks for an interesting read.

Rochkirstin Santos said...

Those caps are like classic items that have inspired many kids for baseball. Even non-baseball enthusiasts would like the design.

Franc said...

The leather Yankee Caps looks really cool. I also have some Yankee caps at home.

Natalie Summers said...

people who waste that kind of money on materiel things, really blows my mind.

Emilee said...

I'd sure love that Yankee cap. However, some of this stuff is ridic $$$!

mail4rosey said...

That's fun about Spike Lee and the cap. It's amazing how fast a product can take off when someone famous sports it. :)

Alyssa Collazo said...

Very interesting post! Thanks for sharing

Don Purdum said...

It's a great example of just be yourself and ask for what you want. You never know what's going to happen.

Kath Rivera said...

My brother would love to have this kind of cap but we don't have the original one here in our country. I think this is only available there :(

Rachael Yerkes said...

$500 belt! Ouch. I love the yankees! interesting post for sure. thanks

Brijdeep Kaur said...

never been interested in all these but anyway it was interesting to know a bit.. thanks

Sharon Ruggieri said...

I had no clue he was behind baseball caps and it's hard to believe I'm old enough to recall his first movie

Ivory Glass said...

a really interesting read I learn something new everyday

John Lopez said...

Thanks so much for sharing this, I can't believe these prices.

MyDomesticDish said...

LOL "Rap or break dancing battle to break out in my livingroom at any time" haha
Awesome guest post. Love it.

Amanda Kee said...

WOW, This is interesting to say the least. I am not into fashion at all. I wear what I like and that is that! The most expensive think I own is probably a 40 dollar sweater from Macy's that I got for free! When I buy clothes... Walmart and Target.. Here I come!!! Haha

Ashley Nicholas said...

Wow, never knew about this! The leather NY Yankees cap is pretty cool!

Post a Comment

 
Design by Free WordPress Themes | Bloggerized by Lasantha - Premium Blogger Themes | Facebook Themes