Thursday, January 21, 2010

Kangol Headwear

ANOTHER recent fashion piece I wrote for the Manila Bulletin.  Yes, hats are back in a big way.

Kangol hats remain stylish accessories through the years

ORIGINALLY created as protection from the elements like heat, rain and falling rocks, hats were later worn for religious reasons as well as to indicate rank (i.e. in military) and social status.

Eventually, hats or headwear as they are now often called, became fashion accessories. And lately, they have become an increasingly indispensable part of men’s fashion statements. And because the onlooker’s attention is first drawn to the face, a hat is the most noticeable fashion item anyone can wear.  There’s an old saying that goes “if you want to get ahead and get noticed, then get a hat.”

A lot of people did and continues to do so to this day. And as men’s headwear goes, the ones made by British clothing company Kangol have been setting the pace for head fashion. Since it was founded in 1938 by Jacques Spreiregen, Kangol quickly became a major beret supplier to the British armed forces and the Olympic team.

With its iconic kangaroo logo and a name taken from the words “Knitting,” “ANGora,” and “woOL,”  Kangol has distinguished itself as the most recognized headwear brand in the world,  producing a wide range of hats that transcend generations and cultures. Along with historic collaborations from designers like Mary Quant and Pierre Cardin, Kangol has over the years graced the heads of not just war heroes like Field Marshal Bernard Montgomery but also the rich, the famous and even the royalty including The Beatles, tennis legend Arnold Palmer, Run-DMC, LL Cool J, Eminem, Chris Brown, Samuel L. Jackson and Brad Pitt.

Even in its latest collection, wool continues to be the cornerstone of Kangol Hats  as exemplified by its very popular Kangol Wool 504 Cap, first introduced in 1954 and the more “modern” Kangol Ventair 504 Cap first unleashed during the 80’s.

Equally popular traditional shapes such as the Kangol Wool Monty Beret are also back while shapes like the Kangol Wool 507, The Wool Geez, and the Wool Clery are coming-on strong.

Inspired by the stylings of the rat pack and vintage golf, the much sought after Wool Player is a clean looking and very wearable trilby shaped style with an integral band and stingy brim that can be worn up or down.

Among the newer designs, the US-crafted Lite Felt and Fur Felt shapes specifically variants like Lite Felt 504, Lite Felt Mau, Lite Felt Player, Fur Felt Cap and Fur Felt Player easily stand out.

There’s also a “Japanese Jersey” collection that consists of four styles made from premium Japanese jersey, giving the traditional hat styles a fresh and young look.

With strong attention to fabric, construction and detail, Kangol blazes every trail as it sets and continues to transcend trends. From the greens of England to the snazzy streets of New York, from the classic vogue to the modern chic, Kangol hats are sure to outlive decades of fad with its unique flare and elegant rebirth.

Kangol is available at Bratpack Greenbelt 5 and Rustans Makati and exclusively distributed by the Primer Group of Companies.

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