Born British, Raised on the Streets of New York.
In 1938 in a remote corner of Northwest England, Kangol was officially born. Looking to create a unique brand moniker, founder Jacques Spreiregen created the name by combining the ‘K’ from knitting, the ‘ANG’ from angora, and the ‘OL’ from wool. Early on Kangol was the preferred hat choice for the Duke of Windsor, Greta Garbo, and Marlene Dietrich. With Europe on the brink of war,
Kangol joined the war effort and outfitted the British Armed Forces throughout WWII. After the war, Kangol produced berets for the English Olympic Team to wear in the 1948 opening ceremonies.
Ever the innovator, Kangol in the 1950s added a stiffened peak to their knitted beret and the Wool 504 flat cap was born. Named the ‘504’ after the reference number of the wooden hat block from which it had been shaped, the ‘504’ has become one of the brand’s most recognizable styles.
The 1960s saw Kangol pioneer some of the fashion industry’s earliest collaborations working with popular musicians and designers by providing headwear to the likes of the Beatles, Mary Quant, Pierre Cardin, and Arnold Palmer. In the 1970’s Kangol increased their shape and style offerings, including the iconic ‘Casual’ bucket shape while growing their markets in Europe, Asia, and North America. By the 1980’s, American customers familiar with Kangol’s quality would come into headwear shops requesting those ‘Kangaroo’ hats.
Rather than fight it, the brand created and implemented the now iconic Kangaroo logo. Kangol was adopted by the early hip hop pioneers and cultural influencers of 1980’s New York. Legendary artists such as LL Cool J, Eric B. and Rakim, and Grandmaster Flash, who has one of his Kangol hats in the Hip Hop Hall of Fame, all wore Kangol.
Kangol today is a cultural fusion, taking the best of British heritage, the birth of hip-hop and mixing it with cutting edge street fashion. At its core Kangol prides itself on producing innovative and quality products using many of the same techniques that were developed over 75 years ago. Kangol’s unwavering commitment to its core values has garnered a unique and loyal following of fans worldwide both young and old.
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