100 Years: A History of the New Era brand
The second new brand to join The Chimp Store family this season is one we are particularly proud of. We're pleased to welcome New Era to our roster. With the brand celebrating their 100th year this year, you can expect an array of classic styles, as well as collaborations and special releases.
As headwear brands go, or any brand for that matter, few can rival the legacy and legitimacy of New Era. When it comes to sporting headwear, there's really only one go-to manufacturer (save, Mitchell & Ness) that does it like New Era does.
Founded in 1920 by Ehrhardt Koch under the name E. Koch Company, the brand got its start after Ehrhardt borrowed money from his sister and a former co-worker. With some success under his belt (or cap?) Ehrhardt changed the name to the New Era Cap Co. and the rest, as they say, was history...let's dive into that history a little, shall we?
Of course we all know New Era thanks to their affiliation with every MLB team in the US (as well as countless other sports team across the world). The first team to enlist the New Era Cap Co. was the Cleveland Indians, after the founders son noticed the decline in 'fashion' hats of the 1930s and the rising popularity and demand for baseball caps.
Fast forward slightly to the 1950s, (after the brand survived the second world war by buying up surplus fabric and hand dying it at the family home to match the colours fo the required teams) - that's a work ethic - and the 59Fifty style was born. Designed by Harold Koch (son of founder Ehrhardt) this is the style that came to define a headwear movement. It gained the New Era brand the attention of every MLB team in the United States, and by 1960 they had formed contracts with every single one.
Keeping the brand in the family, the duty of Company President was handed down from father to son (this time David Koch is appointed), and New Era continues to expertly infiltrate major new markets. Transitioning from MLB to the logical next step of trickling down into College Sports and side stepping into AAA and International leagues, the New Era cap was entirely synonymous with professional sports teams at every level across America by the 1980s.
With the MLB and other influential leagues now tied exclusively to New Era, it was time for the next phase of their development. Enter, Mr Spike Lee. The influential director and producer was the first to give the New Era 59Fifty silhouette a customised tweak in the 90s, taking on arguably the most recognisable team style - the Yankee fitted. With this style, New Era ushered in the age of the NE Flag embroidery now famously seen at the side seam of every cap they produce, as well as introducing size stickers on the brim for easy identification in stores.
At the turn of the century, New Era was a behemoth of the cap world, matched by none - but just when you thought they could do no more, the brand opens their first international office in Canada, appoints Chris Koch as CEO, and later develops their first women's specific silhouette.
By 2007 New Era took their first step into designing apparel to accompany their headwear, not to mention adding Manchester United to their team roster, meaning they now provided headwear and apparel to the two largest sporting franchises in the world (at the time) - the New York Yankees and Manchester United Football Club. Impressive, right?
The Chimp Store introduce New Era to their brand roster by opting for a curated selection of stone cold classics, mixed carefully with unique collaboration capsule collections.
Available now at The Chimp Store is the tried and tested classic 9Forty silhouette, with it's 6-panel construction and strapback fastening, spanning teams such as LA Dodgers and New York Yankees, available in staple colours and special patterned variations.
As well as the classics we are pleased to offer New Era's exclusive collaboration with Gore-Tex. The specialist fabric manufacturer puts their spin on the 9Forty and 9Twenty silhouette, using Gore-Tex technology and applying their branding alongside the signature NE Flag embroidery.
So, now that you're up to speed on all things New Era, hit the link below to find the right team and style for you, and be sure to check back as we offer further collaborations and styles in the 100th year of New Era.