I was going to title this article “Five Snapbacks You Should Have Bought Before They Ended up on eBay For Three Times the Original Price” but it seemed a little lengthy. Still, it gets the point across – most of these hats didn’t last a minute at their original retail value, only later managing to find their way onto the heads of enthusiastic over-spenders across the world. I won’t pretend for a second that I'm not one of those over-spenders, but even my student loan didn't fall victim to the caps listed below.
So let’s take another look at where your snapback cap quota could have gone over the last 12 months...
1. Supreme x COMME des GARÇONS SHIRT 5-panel
This cap came as part of the Spring/Summer 2012 capsule collection, which included a button-down shirt, t-shirt, hoodie and two styles of Vans (the SK8-Hi and the Era). The fabric on the hat comes straight from COMME des GARÇONS’ extensive textile collection, but the stand-out feature has to be the reverse box logo. Up until now the only way for a Supreme 5-panel owner to appreciate their hat was to take a picture of themselves and put it on Tumblr for the world to see. Now they can just stand in front of the mirror and get lost in their own reflection. That can only be a good thing, right?
2. Indcsn x Dertbag “KILL” 5-panel
I know what you’re thinking and yes, it is a little out there, but everyone just needs to accept that tie-dye is back and putting “KILL” on a hat isn’t anywhere near as offensive as it first seems apparently. Remember that “Fuck you you fuckin’ fuck” t-shirt Bam Margera used to wear? That was offensive and Bam’s fat now, so there’s your lesson I guess. This cap came out at the back end of last summer, the product of a collaboration between UK-based brand, Indcsn, and tie-dye lovers, Dertbag Design. This is my favourite Indcsn hat I’ve seen so far and it’s been impossible to track down ever since. Seriously, good luck trying – and if you do find it I have PayPal.
3. Black Scale x New Era “Funeral Service” Snapback
If you’re into hip-hop, chances are you probably recognise this hat. It was one of many made popular by the self-proclaimed “Pretty Motherfucker” himself, A$AP Rocky, fitting in with the A$AP Mob’s penchant for wearing "all-black-everything". This snapback dropped in December 2011, preceding the A$AP x Black Scale collaboration, which sold out in no time at all. The underside of the brim features a Jesus cross pattern and “BLVCK SCVLE” runs above the snaps around the back, but it’s the leather crown panel that adds an impeccable touch of class to the final product. A re-release on this year’s 4/20 (international Stop-What-You’re-Doing-and-Get-High Day) came with either “FUNERAL,” “SILENCE” or “BELIEVE” across the front – but guess what? No leather. No deal.
4. RIPNDIP “Nermal” Camp Cap
No-one needs to tell me this is the most garish hat they’ve ever seen – I’m well aware – but I think RIPNDIP deserve credit for actually pulling it off. The downtown LA-based brand saw a surge in popularity when a picture of Tyler, the Creator, sporting the 5-panel hat, found its way onto Tumblr, with the cap selling out around last Christmas. A quick scan through the RIPNDIP blog sees the brand rubbing shoulders with others in the wider circle of the Odd Future collective, including photographer, Sagan Lockhart, with whom we should expect to see a collab sometime in the vague and detail-less future. If the hat itself isn’t enough for you, RIPNDIP dropped the “Nermal” print button-down shirt on 1st May, at a limited run of 39 which have all sold out. Oh, and I looked up “Nermal” – apparently he’s some cute cat who made Garfield jealous when he became the focus of his owner’s attention... So that’s pretty cool.
5. SUR COMME des FUCKDOWN Snapback
Yet another of the A$AP Mob’s personal favourites, these prints have been getting a silly amount of attention from the blogosphere ever since they were worn in a few photo-shoots through late-2011/early-2012. In spite of the hype, the originals actually date back to 2007, when they were released under sub-label, The Cut, one of Russ Karablin’s many little bits on the side. Karablin must be one of the most elusive designers in urban fashion, but if SSUR, Natural Born, Rebel Ape or the all-inclusive Iron Umbrella sound familiar, then chances are you’ve come across him before.
It takes something pretty special to turn a parody-based product into something you can take seriously, but the combination of Karablin’s knowledge of fashion and A$AP fans’ faith in their leader’s flawless taste is a potent mix. These caps haven’t actually sold out and are readily available at the SSUR Empire State webstore for a reasonable $40 – I’m not sure if it’s to do with the longevity of the brand or a lack of enthusiasm to look like an A$AP fan-boy, but I’m happy they’re still kicking around for now. Maybe I’ll spend that student loan after all.
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