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A Journey Through Sports and Culture: New Era Celebrates 70 Years of the 59Fifty Cap

Nika Higashionna. Photo courtesy of New Era

Introduced in 1954, the 59Fifty cap has evolved from its athletic roots to become a staple in fashion, music, and pop culture

“A well fitted cap is like a good pair of jeans, there’s a pair out there for everybody and anybody,” says Daniel Broderick, the managing director of New Era in the Asia Pacific. For the general public, many are unfamiliar with the humble beginnings that brought the piece of headwear toward its signature status. 

New Era’s story dates back more than a century, when in 1920 they initially introduced the standard professional baseball cap. By 1954, the brand had developed the 59fifty baseball cap,  which was eventually adopted by Major League Baseball as an official supplier throughout all of its franchised teams till present day. Seventy years later, the model had begun to emerge from its sports-centric roots, with the 59Fifty cap having evolved to become a staple in fashion, music, and popular culture. “Now you can find it in fashion shows, in runways, red carpets, and on music stages across the world,” says Daniel. 

Daniel Broderick, Managing Director of New Era in the Asia Pacific. Photo courtesy of New Era

This year, New Era is celebrating the 70th anniversary of its franchise model with a special 59Fifty Day, which was held in the bustling streets of Manila and in the coastal city of Hong Kong. During its Hong Kong celebration, 70 collaborations from different designers, institutions, and artisans from across the globe were unveiled in commemoration of the model’s 70th year. The 59Fifty cap has transcended its origins, becoming a symbol of style and self-expression beyond sports. “It’s the foundation of everything we do,” says Broderick, highlighting the cap’s significance in the brand’s legacy.

To commemorate this milestone and its cultural relevance, New Era has curated local collaborations from different artists, designers, and creatives from around the world. Among them, the Philippines fielded six collaborations that hoped to represent different facets of the nation’s pop culture using the 59fifty as a base. 

One of the six Philippine collaborations for the 59fifty model. Photo courtesy of New Era

The most notable of the collaborations featured a reimagining of the signature cap made with linen resembling the piña fibers traditionally used in the barong. Its brim and front panel are lined with stitching reminiscent of the types of embroidery found on the classic Filipino garment, with local floral notes being sewn across the cap’s front panel. 

The Amorsolo Foundation was also among the six that collaborated with New Era for the model’s 70th anniversary. For their rendition, the foundation sought to paint the image of one of Fernando Amorsolo’s most recognizable works, the “Dalagang Bukid,” onto both the crown and visor of the cap respectively. 

These various partnerships from both the Philippines and across the world act as a commemoration of the 59fifty’s global impact, championing its ability to connect to people from all kinds of styles and cultures. “For this momentous milestone, we wanted to localize the collaborations for this celebration. It’s a way for us to pay respects and give back to the local culture,” mentions David. 

Pia Magalona, Gab Yap, Elmo Magalona, Clara Magalona, Arkin Magalona. Photo courtesy of New Era

For more information on the 59fifty, visit New Era’s website, and visit any of New Era’s stores located nationwide.

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