This year New Era celebrates its 100th anniversary. On this occasion we asked Chris Koch, president and CEO of New Era Cap how many caps he personally owns and what exciting things we can expect for the year 2020.

 

Congratulations on your almost 100th anniversary! New Era is already family-run in the fourth generation. There will be some exciting stories gathered. Which is the most memorable moment with New Era for you personally?
I think it’s interesting to see how every generation has left their mark on the company.  When I became president in the ’90s, I had a vision of how we could take this family-run company from a baseball business and turn it into an iconic global consumer brand. That has really been the second half of my career and my biggest accomplishment.  It’s an honor to see New Era on some of the most elite athletes and entertainers, and having a brand presence in 125 countries around the world.

Different headstyles in the 1950s from New Era
Photo: New Era
Different headstyles in the 1950s from New Era

What exciting news will there be for the year 2020? Are further store openings planned? Any new cooperations?
New Era’s centennial will be a celebration of our history and our future. Throughout the year, we will launch special collections featuring new designs, product collaborations and re-issues of classic caps and apparel. We will also partner with legendary fashion brands such as Helmut Lang, Yohji Yamamoto, Levi’s and Havaianas; visual artists Daniel Arsham; contemporary furniture brand Modernica; watch brand Casio G-Shock; and the brand’s first-ever circular economy product with Pentatonic.

Billie Eilish teamed up with New Era on a collaborative hat capsule. This is one of the models.
Photo: New Era
Billie Eilish teamed up with New Era on a collaborative hat capsule. This is one of the models.


Do you personally wear caps? How much do you have in your closet?
Over the last 40 years working for the company I’ve accumulated so many caps, I couldn’t even begin to try and put a number on it.  Although, I do have my favorite caps that I like to wear while playing golf or going to a game.

It can be assumed that founder Ehrhardt Koch would be very proud of the development of New Era, what would he think about today's New Era?
My great grandfather started this company with the goal of changing the way headwear was created and I think he’d be proud of the way we’ve been able to take that philosophy that started in Buffalo and bring it to the world. While a lot has changed since the company started in 1920, the spirit is the same and he’d be happy about that.

German immigrant Ehrhardt Koch saw an opportunity to redesign headwear. In 1920 he started New Era Cap Co. His expertise and open-mindedness led to the company producing 60,000 Gatsby-style caps in the first year.
Photo: New Era
German immigrant Ehrhardt Koch saw an opportunity to redesign headwear. In 1920 he started New Era Cap Co. His expertise and open-mindedness led to the company producing 60,000 Gatsby-style caps in the first year.


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