With more than a century of history and after having established itself as an influential brand in street culture and style internationally, New Era is ready to go one step further. The brand embraces the contemporary while maintaining its personal identity and showing great respect for the brand legacy. Now, as part of its Always On Side campaign, New Era is launching a retro baseball-inspired collection to celebrate the start of the spring season. And we had the opportunity to speak with Nick Jacobs, Head of Product at New Era to find out all the details!
First were its world-renowned hats and caps, items that remain in the minds of all followers of the brand in which design and quality merged to achieve a successful formula. Then their lines of accessories and clothing would come, expanding the New Era universe and demonstrating season after season that the brand is growing. And now, more than 100 years after the brand took its first steps, New Era is launching its largest line of branded caps and apparel to date.
“The teams have been working day and night on this collection for a long time and it's amazing to see how we've evolved as a brand over the last few years in terms of design, quality, and product offering,” replies Nick Jacobs, when we ask him about how he feels now that the seasonal campaign they’ve been working on for a long time has become a reality. A lot of effort has been put into Always On Side, the result of an interesting exercise in which the brand's history, its most outstanding items and the demands of a changing market have been analysed. “It’s an incredible feeling to see the collection out there in its full glory.”
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New Era isn't just launching a branded collection inspired by retro baseball style. They are also incorporating new items that help reconnect with the retro theme that inspires their new launch, including 9TWENTY cotton caps and bucket hats in a combination of camel and navy-blue tones. There is no lack of references to Buffalo, the brand's hometown in the state of New York, in the form of sports embroideries that refer to the essence of its birthplace. And there is more! We also find a series of 9TWENTY caps in solid colours and with the New Era logo in cursive and retro style on the upper front.
It is incredible to see how some of its flagship products, to which they add small modifications, manage to respond quickly to the demands of the new generations and continue to have millions of followers all over the world. About this success formula, we asked Jacobs, who has worked with New Era for over 12 years and looks after the go-to-market process of making a commercially viable product which is on trend. “We draw inspiration from multiple sources to keep ahead of the trends each season such as social media, catwalk shows, and street style to name a few, which keeps our vision straight ahead looking at what ’s next to come,” he says.
Following a line between heritage and contemporary, he comments that they're never short of historical inspiration, but constantly thinking of new storytelling ideas to bring the brand's history into a relevant but authentic product for their consumers. If we continue to delve into those new products that come along with the new Always On Side, putting the spotlight on the clothing collection and its intrinsic relationship with baseball, we find a great selection of retro sportswear, such as varsity jackets, pinstripe tees and vintage character graphic patches.
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“It’s got to be the heritage patch varsity jacket,” Jacobs says when we ask him what his favourite piece is from the collection. A garment in which they've updated their varsity silhouette and included finely detailed patches all over which rep New Era's founding date and hometown. “The pinstripe lining is also one of our most premium finishes to date.” This collection shows that, although New Era had been associated with headwear for the best part of a century, it’s now a full headwear and apparel lifestyle brand within a decade. Jacobs also speaks about this evolution that the brand has experienced in the last decade. “Seeing the growth of our apparel business has probably been the biggest change,” he points out.
There is also no shortage of striped t-shirts, which feature subtle earth tones, with a brown base and dark orange stripes. Or the black and yellow graphic tees, including oversized baseball graphics on the back highlighting the retro New Era logo and team logos. The Always On Side campaign is a vindication of the brand's legacy, a demonstration that past, present and future can go hand in hand.
Jacobs tells us that they have some exciting collections launching for summer, fall and winter later this year that further grow on their latest spring collection. Projects with which they will make sure making sure they’re improving on the last drop each time in terms of design, quality, and offers. He also tells us about some of the challenges that New Era has for 2023. “We must always remain nimble and reactive to trends and cultural changes, not just on a regional scale but also on a global one.” We’ll keep track of their upcoming releases, but the Always On Side campaign, New Era’s largest line of own-brand caps and apparel to date, has proven to be a great starting point.
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