1. A prosumer cap blocking machine is released.
Fitted fiends need to have a quality portable cap blocking machine. Preferably something that won't cost you your first born and a limb. After years of several false starts, and great anticipation the Fitted Pro failed to make it to launch. The vacuum leaves a horde of fitted caps users without a machine to give them that proper, factory fresh look. Could 2012 be the year that an answer appears? We hope so.
2. NEW ERA brings the 8-panel sillouette to the US.
NEW ERA's 59Fifty cap is the most recognized and successful baseball cap silhouette. The model is doesn't stand alone. NEW ERA has dozens of styles it sells around the globe. The 8-panel model is a nod to baseball's glorious golden era with its soft crown and wool construction. The wave caught on in Japan, where several brands have adopted the style. Time to bring the it back home to America.
3. NIKE "just does it".
NIKE owns one of the most empowering tag lines ever. When it comes to their fitted baseball cap program, they fail to meet the inspiration behind their own words. In spite their global footprint and a billion dollar business the footwear giants have yet to impress us with their cap game. Its time for another force to emerge into the marketplace. Competition brings out the best in all player on the court. If 2012 is truly the end of the world, the mighty N have little time left to lay claim the throne.
4. NEW ERA Japan opens an English based e-commerce site.
Nihongo o hanashimasu ka? Iie? It's no mystery that some of the best of NEW ERA's fitted baseball caps come out of their Japanese branch. Those that are not up on their Nihongo and / or a valid passport, are clearly missing out. One of our most common email requests, is how to order from a Japanese fitted cap retailer. Exchange rate be damned, clearly there is a wave of English speaking fitted fans that want to buy these far east exclusives. In 2012, we'd like to see NEW ERA Japan open up an English on-line store.
5. Carhartt Streetwear expands to the US.
The 122 year old American workwear company found a second life abroad in Europe and Japan. The product range mixed the best of brand's tradition of rugged, durable garments and mixed it with a now school edge. In 2011, the Carhartt project Work In Progress finally touched down in the States. We haven't seen their fitted baseball caps make their way into general distribution yet. Here's to seeing that happen in 2012.
6. SSUR relaunches their fitted baseball cap program
We're biased. Over the years we have never been subtle about our love for the brand SSUR. With Russ Karablin at the helm, the brand consistently cranked out some of the most technically impressive and imaginative fitted baseball cap designs around. SSUR was clearly steps ahead in terms of fabrications and concepts. In 2008 the stitch-count killers sadly took a break from production of fitted baseball caps. The game just hasn't felt the same since their departure. We have heard talk form the camp about a return. Our hope that quickly moves from the land of rumor to deliveries in 2012.
7. NEW ERA x NFL
2012 marks the long awaited return of the NFL license to NEW ERA CAP Company. Our hope is the NFL does not impose strict brand guidelines and allow some creative license. The market is already over saturated with the standard team caps featuring in the traditional home and away colors. Our wish is that under NEW ERA's watch the NFL fitted cap will be a canvas for creativity. More classic gridiron logos in the arsenal to interpret and coordinate. Win, win. Anyone?
8. MLB brings back Grey Under bills.
The time of the Black under bill has come and gone. Don't let the door hit you on the way out. In our on-line polls Green won by an overwhelming margin. Lines were drawn along the generational lines. For me it's a vote for childhood nostalgia. In retrospect, the beloved O.G. Green loses that special touch when its so common. Save it for the top shelf releases. Neutral Grey is a universal donor, a functional friendly color and familiar fan favorite.