It doesn't matter if it's forward, backward, or sideways. It is clear that wearing a hat has long ceased to be a way to protect oneself from the sun. Today, fashion is promoted by rap artists, trap, reggaeton, skaters... but the truth is that the trend has been forming long before. The cap has a history, and that is why it is not just an accessory.
"Snapback" are called caps with a flat visor that can be adjusted to the size of each person's head with a rear snap. The culture of caps is found in its maximum representation in the US where there are designs with all the NBA, MLB, NFL and NHL teams.
A bit of history: 1990 – 1999
In the early 1990s, the fashion for the flat or snapback hat emerged in New York and Los Angeles. Outlying cities, West Coast vs East Coast. Young people wanted to differentiate themselves and try new things with their clothes, so men and women could be seen on the street wearing caps backwards or to the side. Drawing attention was the goal, but with style.
The style was also adopted by US hip hop groups on the West Coast and East Coast. This made the cap become a symbol of belonging and support to certain groups. There was a strong rivalry between both areas and rappers began to use the caps as a badge to represent their cities.
While on the west coast groups like NWA (Niggaz With Attitude) wore “ Compton”, “Raiders”, “LA” snapbacks . Across the country, the Mobb Deep duo had “New York”, “Brooklyn” and “Queens” written on theirs. Hip hop fans used and collected the caps.
At the same time, another factor that favored the popularity of snapbacks was sports. Basketball and baseball players began to be seen wearing them on television, and young people immediately imitated them. The cap became the garment most used by players and teams to show their belonging and support for a team.
The demand for them increased so much that clothing producers began to make replicas of the caps most used by athletes.
A clear example of this was when Michael Jordan's Chicago Bulls won the NBA Finals against the Cleveland Cavaliers. Right after the game, which is considered one of the highlights of Michael Jordan's career, he appeared giving an interview in a Gatorade snapback. Replicas of that model sold even faster than the time it takes for politicians to raise their salaries.
A decade without caps: 2000 - 2010
For some reason, when the year 2000 came around, snapbacks fell out of favor and were replaced by fitted caps. The difference between both styles of caps is that with snapbacks you can choose the size by adjusting the snap at the back. The fitted caps, on the other hand, are completely closed and have a fixed size that depends on the size of each person. Both share the same front and flat visor.
Snapback sales fell for almost ten years. The main brands that distribute them until today, almost went bankrupt because people were not buying or using them, very few customers were interested in the new designs that were going on sale. Sports were the only thing that made the caps continue to have a presence on the street.
The Return: 2011 - 2015
Everything changed in early 2011 when R&B artists Chris Brown and Tyga brought back the style of the '90s with the song “Snapback back”.
In one way or another, the market adjusts according to what is trending and fashions are renewed. This was clearly reflected in the fact that the sales of these caps were increasing progressively every week.
The craze continued to grow as artists like Jay-Z and Kanye West made music videos wearing snapbacks. Then a revolution arose, reviving classics like NewEra, Starter and Mitchell & Ness, and giving way to new brands.
Consolidation: 2016- Today
In recent years, flat caps have established themselves as more than just a fad. Urban fashion is here to stay and caps are one of its greatest representations.
Music is one of the greatest evidences that caps are current. Singers like Justin Bieber, Bruno Mars, Nicky Jam... wear them on a daily basis and during their performances. The trap, hiphop and reaggeton are the styles where the cap is present as an identifying element.
In sport, the flat cap will continue to hold its place in stadiums and on players' heads.
In recent years, many clothing brands have added caps to their collections. Exclusively cap brands have also emerged. And of course, Exhal Brand, which has brought about the revolution by creating a new concept of the flat cap, creating The Winter Cap.
Today snapbacks are worn as more than just an accessory, no matter if it's night or cloudy, you'll probably always see someone wearing one. Singers, models, athletes and actresses collect them and take photos with their caps. Even some artists like Wiz Khalifa, Nicki Minaj or Bruno Mars have personalized snapbacks made with their names.