Given its simplicity and practicality, it’s small wonder that the flat cap has almost global appeal. But then, while Peaky Blinders may have energised interest in it and its six or eight-panelled cousin the ‘baker boy’ style, the flat cap has been around since the 14th century.
An Act of Parliament in the UK in 1571 made it mandatory to wear a woollen cloth cap on Sundays and public holidays – more as a boost to sheep farming than weekend style. But today, it’s all about aesthetics and what it can add to your look.
There are plenty of pitfalls of course, but these can be easily avoided if you know what you’re doing. The whole ‘faux-gentleman’ thing that embraced the flat cap (as well as the beard and exaggerated moustache) has come and gone, but it is possible to wear one and look both contemporary and cool.
What Is The Flat Cap?
There is, in fact, a genius inherent to this affordable and durable design: less formal than more structured hats – and so less off-putting for men who can’t, as it were, get their heads around hats – its design is still a deceptively clever one.
Cut deeper at the back, it has more purchase than it looks like it does – useful especially when lifting eyes to the sky while shooting, for example; the brim is short but still enough to shade eyes; and the whole thing is foldable, easily stowed inside a pocket.
These are all notions nicked by spin-offs such as the driving cap, cycling cap and even the baseball cap. Perhaps the most appealing thing about the flat cap right now though is that it’s not a baseball cap. Ever understated, you’d never get a flat cap sporting some brash logo.
How To Wear A Flat Cap
Like its American equivalent, the baseball cap, the flat cap has an everyman quality to it, as fitting atop a pigeon-fancying Yorkshireman as it is an estate-touring toff, whether working the land or owning it. It found a place in skinhead culture, but also hip-hop and has been favoured by everyone from Del Boy to Samuel L. Jackson.
Likewise, while it’s not a hat for all seasons – linen versions may work for summer, but the flat cap is essentially a cold-weather style – it is a hat for almost all occasions. Unlike the baseball cap, the flat cap is as at home with tailoring as with jeans and T-shirt, flattering most faces into the bargain.
Opting for one in a neutral colour such as navy or dark grey will offer up the most versatility. Introduce one as part of a monochrome look consisting of black tailored trousers, a grey T-shirt and a navy bomber jacket, and it’ll serve you well in a casual office environment as well as the weekend.
Wear It With
Best Flat Cap Brands
Lock & Co
Unarguably one of the UK’s most esteemed hatters – its namesake’s story in hat-making can be traced back to the 1750s, and the company is said to have invented the bowler hat – this is the place to go should you ever need a hot weather flat cap. They have styles in cashmere and Escorial wool, but also linen.
Yes, there really is an official ‘Peaky Blinders’ flat cap, not least because the TV show’s creator, Steven Knight, set up a company to make them and other clothing befitting a Brummie hoodlum at the turn of the last century. The English-made tweed style names? Arthur, Thomas and Shelby, of course.
One of the all-time great American hatmakers, it was Bailey – once better known as Bailey of Hollywood – that made hats for all the big stars of the golden era of cinema, Gary Cooper and Cary Grant among them. Grant’s best hat moment? In None But the Lonely Heart, wearing a flat cap throughout. Bailey’s also makes them in showerproof cotton.
Better known for its bucket hats – LL Cool J might spring to mind – Kangol is the definitive headwear of US hip-hop, despite being a British brand. It adopted its marsupial logo only in 1983 to deal with American’s persistently and puzzlingly asking for ‘the Kangaroo hat’. Its cloche-like 504 flat cap is a classic.
Gamble & Gunn
Based on Portsea Island near Portsmouth, where a naval cap might be more in order, hatmaker Gamble & Gunn have built a deserved reputation for the bolder choice of materials from which it makes its caps, ochre Donegal tweed, suede and lux merino wool among them.
Established in Scotland in 1748 by one Miller Christy – his company would later win one of the first contracts to supply hats to the newly formed Metropolitan Police, while Queen Victoria’s consort Albert favoured its top hats – Christys’ offers flat caps in trad tweed but also hardwearing melton and moleskin.
It was a Borsalino that Warren Beatty wore in Bonnie and Clyde, Humphrey Bogart in Casablanca and Harrison Ford as Indiana Jones – a tall crowned felt fedora that in time would take the name of its maker. But who’s to say the Italian hatter can’t turn its hand to caps? Its version, in fact, has an innovative multi-panelled back section for a closer fit.
Source: Fashion Beans
GlennSamm Wins YEA 2019 Fashion Personality of the Year.
Ghanaian walking artist, GlennSamm won the fashion personality of the year category at the Youth Excellence Awards 2019 held at Silver Star Tower, November 16, 2019.
The fashion icon with a tremendous global appeal, known in real life as Glenn Samuel Semakor won the enviable award in a stiff competition that had other equally deserving fashion super-powers in the category.
Addressing the audience and supporters of the event, the Afro-futuristic extended his heartfelt appreciation all his fans and other collaborators within the fast-rising creative hub, Kvngsofthenewschool who helped him attain this laurel.
Glenn further urged his supporters to be on the lookout for new mind-boggling art installations which will transcend the conscious and positive image of Africa to the world.
Senegalese Fashion Designer, Sarah Diouf Vows To Train Local Tailors, Artisans.
Senegalese fashion designer Sarah Diouf, whose Tongoro designs were catapulted to fame after being spotted on Beyonce, has vowed to to expand production in Senegal and train local tailors to translate her brand’s success into jobs for artisans.
Founded in 2016, Tongoro is a ready-to-wear label dedicated to the development of Senegal. The label made headlines last year when Beyonce wore Tongoro patterned dresses and wide-leg pants on vacation in Italy last year.
The 31-year-old Dakar-based designer was then asked to make a custom design for Beyonce, who wore a Tongoro suit and dressed her dancers in its jewellery in her “Spirit” music video for “The Lion King” film.
The Senegalese capital of Dakar is known for its vibrant fashion scene but most tailors are self-taught, work on street corners and have no way to reach a wider customer base.
Rising demand for “Made in Africa” fashion has not yet benefited many people in Senegal, according to Sarah Diouf, who employs only seven tailors so far. With more local training and online sales, she thinks Senegal’s clothing industry can grow.
Sarah Diouf said: “For me, the Beyonce storyline is opening the conversation and opening doors.
“We have so much talent, but I think we just need a little bit more structure to take it to the next level.”
By sourcing its materials from across the African continent and working with local tailors, Tongoro’s long-term goal is to create “a new dynamic for Africa-based manufacturing”, as well as foster the economic and social development of artisanal workers in Western Africa.
After Tongoro was featured in Elle and Vogue magazines, Sarah Diouf recognised its potential to sell worldwide. She plans to scale up next year and eventually open a production facility with 100 to 150 tailors.
She added: “It’s very important for me to create an ecosystem where everyone can benefit from what I do.”
GlennSamm: The ‘Walking Artist’ Promoting Indigenous Fashion.
FASHION has always been a way for people to express their beliefs and show off their personality.
With the constant evolution of fashion, especially on the African continent, more opportunities have opened up for people to express themselves in bold and daring designs and one artist who has not shied away from representing and promoting his indigenous African beliefs is Glenn Samuel Semakor, popularly known as GlennSamm.
GlennSamm describes himself as a ‘walking artist’ because he is not someone you can easily ignore on the streets or during art exhibitions and festivals such as ChaleWote where he can be seen adorned in traditional costumes or with unique facial art that depicts his Ewe beliefs and traditions.
His passion to promote indigenous African culture has seen him establish a contemporary African fashion movement called KvngsOfTheNewSchool, an all-inclusive group of models and what he terms as “Afrocentric /Afro futurist-inspired creatives.”
Already, the group is gaining international recognition since it was featured in a BBC documentary after catching the eyes of many patrons at last year’s Afrochella Festival in December with their unique appearance.
In an interview with the Graphic Showbiz recently where he mentioned his plans for the fashion industry and intention to blend African beliefs and styles with his Afrocentric creative pieces, the old student of Sogakope Senior High School said he would not be swayed by foreign influences.
“Fashion has no style, nobody has the set rules or standard to define what and how fashion should be. For instance, a period of time portrayed in a picture can be identified immediately just by the style of clothes the people are wearing, and this sums up just how powerful and all-encompassing fashion is.
“Also, fashion can change from one second to the next, but what never changes is the hold it has over society, and the role it plays in the modern world and that is why as an African with my own beliefs, I want to project my culture and my beliefs in what I wear.
“In this short time that I formed the KvngsOfTheNewSchool group, we have been featured many times across the world because of our uniqueness and most importantly, because we are projecting what others don’t have and that sets us apart.
“Initially, it was difficult to take this path, particularly when the general term for fashion had been limited to what we see in fashion magazines and on TV but the features my team and I have been getting means the world is thirsty for a taste of the new African fashion,” he stated.
GlennSamm has been featured in the acclaimed Vogue Magazine, has worked with several brands and also made appearances in music videos including Fuse ODG’s New African Girl and Manuel NonBada’s Every Day.
Again, KvngsOfTheNewSchool, which comprises people such as Mohammed Black, Neffew Wayne and Efo Kayleb, has made appearances at various festivals including Kente Party earlier this year in Accra.
With the Year of Return being celebrated, GlennSamm said the team had positioned themselves and would be available for activities that would require their services.
“The commemoration of the Year of Return is not just to bring people of African descent around the world back home but I believe that we need to instill our values, beliefs and traditions in them. They need to come to terms with our African culture and how we portray ourselves,” he stated.
The Year of Return Ghana 2019 is a major landmark campaign targeting the African – American and the Diaspora market to mark 400 years since the first slave vessel docked on our seas and this is what he said about it:
“Fashion is a very important component of society and our brothers and sisters who have lost contact with who they are as a people because of slave trade have a good chance to learn more about themselves.”
Apart from being a fashion artist, GlennSamm, who runs an entertainment blog, eboxafrica, is also a Public Relations specialist and has worked for entertainment personalities including Ice Prince, Eye Judah and Stonebwoy.
He attended Exopa Modelling School and continued his studies in Graphic Designing at IPMC where he completed in 2011. He had his basic education at Celestial School Complex at Ashaiman before proceeding to Sogakofe Senior High School where he studied Visual Arts and completed in 2006.
As a model, the native of Keta in the Volta Region, who is vying for the Fashion Personality of the Year award at the upcoming Youth Excellence Awards said being a fashion model was tough as it required following the industry’s “set standards.”
“If you want to succeed in this industry, you must not only be blessed with the physical qualities/features, you also need to work considerably hard to satisfy the fashion directors with your personality traits. It is not always about how stout, tall or the attractive features you have, it requires more than that.
“I can’t confidently say that Ghana’s fashion industry has arrived but I know there has been a lot of progress and that is the greatest motivation for people like me,” he stated.
(Source: Gifty Owusu-Amoah)
(PHOTOS): Lacoste Replaces Its Crocodile Logo With 10 Endangered Species.
French brand Lacoste has teamed up with IUCN’s SOS (Save Our Species) — a nature conservation charity — for a limited-edition collection of polo tshirts.
The tees have logos of endangered animal species instead of the green crocodile, and were launched on the runway during the brand’s show at last year’s Paris Fashion Week.
The 10 species represented by Lacoste – with the estimated remaining numbers – are: Vaquita (Gulf of California porpoise): 30, Burmese roofed turtle: 40, Northern sportive lemur: 50, Javan rhino: 67, Cao-vit gibbon (ape): 150, Kakapo (parrot): 157, California condor: 231, Saola (herbivore): 250, Sumatran tiger: 350, Anegada ground iguana: 450
“For the endangered species of this world, the crocodile abandons its ancestral place,” say Lacoste, who had previously never changed their green croc since its debut 85 years ago.
The globally recognized logo was designed as an homage to the brand’s founder René Lacoste, who was dubbed “The Crocodile” because of how he dealt with his opponents on the tennis court.
The new, limited edition logos were produced using the same green coloring and embroidery style as the crocodile.
Each of the 10 designs were produced in limited numbers, corresponding to the remaining population size of each species in the wild.
For example, just 350 polos were produced featuring the Sumatran Tiger, whose main threats are poaching and deforestation.
The smallest batch—at just 30 pieces—features the California porpoise, who due to overfishing is one of the most threatened mammal species ever.
Other species include the Burmese turtle, the northern weasel maki, the Java rhino, the eastern black crested gibbon, the kakapo, the California condor, the saola, and the Anegada iguana.
Each Save Our Species polo was retailed at $185, and the total collection of 1,775 are already sold out, with the profits of each sale donated to the IUCN conservation.
However, If you’d still like to contribute to the worthy cause, you can still donate via the Save Our Species website.