Kangol Hats Have a Past, Are Here to Stay
While Kangol’s caps are among our best selling brands, fans of classic felt fedoras might be quick to blow off Kangol as just trendy fad caps and hats. However, the evidence exists that they are the real deal and here to stay on top of the fashion world. What other brand can boast generals, The Beatles, a princess and rappers among their biggest fans?
Take the Kangol beret for a moment. It has been among the company’s best sellers for 94 years!
It all started at the end of World War I in 1918. That’s when a British soldier named Jacques Spreiregen came home looking for a new occupation. French berets were very popular; so he started an import business.
As it grew and succeeded, he started having the berets made in England and named the company Kangol in 1938. No one knows for certain how the company name came about but leading speculation on the company’s website is that the “K” stood for knit, “ang” came from the angora used in the caps and the “ol” from the wool. The kangaroo now associated with the logo wouldn’t be developed for another 50 years.
Among the company’s most distinguished early customers was British WWII General Bernard “Monte” Montgomery. Many soldiers in the British army wore them as part of their uniforms, but Monte was almost never seen without his Kangol.
After this war, the Kangol beret became the official headwear for the U.K.’s 1948 Olympic team.
The 1950s saw a great deal of design innovation at Kangol. It was in that decade that they first created the 504 and 507 caps. Their first successful summer cap of that era…the “Tropic.” These are our most popular caps to this day. Sure, they come in more colors and variations than they used to, but the overall design remains a top seller.
Always on the cutting edge of music and culture, Kangol became the only company licensed to design, market and brand headwear for none other than The Beatles. They were one band who didn’t need any HELP with their fashion sense.
In addition to musicians, professional golfers took to wearing Kangol caps by the late 1970s. The company also began a serious expansion into American markets.
Having trouble remembering the company name, Americans kept calling the caps kangaroo hats. When the company decided it finally needed a more permanent, easy-to-recognize logo, it turned to the mistaken pronounciation of its name and crafted the now eponymous kangaroo logo.
Rap culture in the 1980s instantly took to the brand. Rappers such as Grand Master Flash and LL Cool J famously wore the hats. To this day folks come into Hats Plus asking for LL Cool J hats, meaning a Kangol bucket hat.
Yet, rappers weren’t the only ones taken by the company’s headwear in the 1980s. Britain’s Princess Diana posed on the cover of Vogue magazine with a Kangol in 1983!
Today, anybody who is anybody wears Kangol caps and hats. Musicians, models and movie stars all enjoy the always fresh fashion sense of the company’s designers. And those designers now include a movie star with his very own line of Kangol caps. Who? Samuel L. Jackson.
Head on over to our Hats Plus website today to find what Kangol suits you best!
Tags: fashion hats, General Bernard Montgomery, Grand Master Flash, hats plus, hats plus ltd, Kangol, Kangol 504, Kangol 507, Kangol hats, Kangol tropic, LL Cool J, Monte, Princess Diana, The Beatles, Vogue, Vogue magazine, WW II Monte, WWII berets