New Era XC: Putting your creative thinking hat on

It may not be glaringly obvious, but this is, in fact, a New Era baseball style cap – designed by student Craig Green in response to a competition by the hat brand to create “a uniquely creative expression in headwear design”…

It may not be glaringly obvious, but this is, in fact, a New Era baseball style cap. It’s unusual design is the brainchild of Craig Green (who has just started an MA course in fashion at Central Saint Martins) – one of several art and design students selected by the hat brand to design a New Era cap, the most uniquely creative of which would win its designer a £10,000 bursary to help them launch their career…

New Era, to help celebrate its 90th birthday, issued 90 New Era XC commemorative boxes (containing a blank New Era 59FIFTY hat, as above) to a shortlist of 90 graduate artists and designers from some of Europe’s most prestigious design schools. The brand is soon to exhibit all the responses to the project in five galleries across Europe, in London, Paris, Berlin, Milan and Barcelona – but here’s a preview of some of the weird and wonderful caps from the show…


Dominika Lipniewska of Central Saint Martins in London was inspired by her fascination with faces and characters

This is fellow Central Saint Martins student Hayley Merrington’s response, inspired, she says, by Victorian engineering. “My cap has a handmade steampunk-inspired look,” she adds. “Made for artists, it carries useful objects such as brushes, pencils and a sketchbook.”

“I thought about the words ‘New’ and ‘Era’ and have come up with something with a fusion of old and new,” says James Gardner of his design. “I thought about iconic head adornments of the past like Ceasers head wreath and taking something cheap like the cable ties and dyeing them to give a new look, something unrecognisable.”


Janosch Mallwitz of the Universität der Künste in Berlin created this baseball stitching inspired hat

Central Saint Martin’s Jennifer Yang cites metal art as her inspiration

Kenji Kawasumi, also of CSM, wanted to create a cup/cap-cake. Muffin cases never looked so fancy


Roser Moll Pascual from Elisava school in Barcelona created this computer themed hat complete with partial keyboard and screen

Sergio Cruz – also from Elisava cites African masks, global crisis, Joan Miro and Lady Gaga as inspiration for his hat

Sophie Waterfield, who created the above hat, is shortly to begin her MA in Knitted Textiles at the Royal College of Art

Nice glitterball hat. Designed by Soth Korean student Sunny Park at Central Saint Martins

Terry Chong’s hat is based on the Lion Dance of traditional folk performance art of China

In case you’re wondering who won the £10K bursary / prize – it was Craig Green, whose design is the topmost image on this blog post.

The exhibition will run in London from November 5 – November 7 at Dray Walk Gallery, Dray Walk, E1 6QL.

It will then run in the following cities / galleries:

Berlin: November 12 –13  at CircleCulture Gallery, Gipstraße 11, 10119
Milan: November 19 – 21 at Spazi Originale, Via Savona 55a, 20144
Barcelona: November 26 – 27  at Angels, C. Dels Angels, 16 08001
Paris: December 3 – 4 at Espace Vertbois, 40 rue Vertbois, 75003

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