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OUR HISTORY

The History Of New Era
New Era Cap Company


BUILDING THE FOUNDATION

German immigrant Ehrhardt Koch, 37, and a skilled craftsman, saw an opportunity to redesign the process used and the quality of “fashion” headwear. In 1920, his dream came true when he borrowed money from his sister, Rose, to start New Era Cap Co. His expertise and open-mindedness led to the company producing 60,000 Gatsby-style caps in the first year.


BUILDING THE FOUNDATION

German immigrant Ehrhardt Koch, 37, and a skilled craftsman, saw an opportunity to redesign the process used and the quality of “fashion” headwear. In 1920, his dream came true when he borrowed money from his sister, Rose, to start New Era Cap Co. His expertise and open-mindedness led to the company producing 60,000 Gatsby-style caps in the first year.

New Era Cap Company

 

A SHIFT IN STYLE

In 1932, Ehrhardt’s son, Harold, joined him in the business. Harold noticed the demand for the fashion cap fading, while professional baseball was growing in popularity. It was then when New Era took its first business venture by bringing a new item in the marketplace – the baseball cap. The first New Era professional baseball cap was produced in 1934 for the Cleveland Indians’ uniforms.

 

A SHIFT IN STYLE

In 1932, Ehrhardt’s son, Harold, joined him in the business. Harold noticed the demand for the fashion cap fading, while professional baseball was growing in popularity. It was then when New Era took its first business venture by bringing a new item in the marketplace – the baseball cap. The first New Era professional baseball cap was produced in 1934 for the Cleveland Indians’ uniforms.

New Era Cap Company


RESILIENT

World War II was a time of hardship and New Era was no exception. Fabric was scarce, but the Koch’s were resourceful, obtaining surplus, plain fabric by going to the garment district in New York City. In fact, the fabric used to produce the caps during this time was dyed at the family’s home in washing machine to match the colours of local teams.

 

RESILIENT

World War II was a time of hardship and New Era was no exception. Fabric was scarce, but the Koch’s were resourceful, obtaining surplus, plain fabric by going to the garment district in New York City. In fact, the fabric used to produce the caps during this time was dyed at the family’s home in washing machine to match the colours of local teams.

 

New Era Cap Company

 

THE BIRTH OF AN ICON

By 1950, New Era was the only independent cap maker supplying caps to big league baseball teams. Its impressive roster of clients included many of the 16 teams at the time like the Brooklyn Dodgers®, Cincinnati Reds®, Cleveland Indians® and Detroit Tigers®. In 1954, Harold designed New Era’s fitted 59FIFTY style cap, giving it a more contemporary look.

 

THE BIRTH OF AN ICON

By 1950, New Era was the only independent cap maker supplying caps to big league baseball teams. Its impressive roster of clients included many of the 16 teams at the time like the Brooklyn Dodgers®, Cincinnati Reds®, Cleveland Indians® and Detroit Tigers®. In 1954, Harold designed New Era’s fitted 59FIFTY style cap, giving it a more contemporary look.

New Era Cap Company


PAVING THE WAY

To better accommodate the growing company, Harold, now leading the charge, opened a manufacturing facility in Derby, New York, close to the family’s home. The location would become the exclusive producer of the iconic 59FIFTY® cap. Having proven itself, New Era was invited by MLB to sell directly to every team at its annual Winter Meetings. This was a pivotal step to the brand’s path to exclusivity with the league.

 

PAVING THE WAY

To better accommodate the growing company, Harold, now leading the charge, opened a manufacturing facility in Derby, New York, close to the family’s home. The location would become the exclusive producer of the iconic 59FIFTY® cap. Having proven itself, New Era was invited by MLB to sell directly to every team at its annual Winter Meetings. This was a pivotal step to the brand’s path to exclusivity with the league.

 

New Era Cap Company

 

THE NEXT GENERATION

In 1972, Harold’s son, David, was named president - 14 years after he began working for the company. A few years later, Chris Koch, David’s son, continued the tradition and began working in the Derby manufacturing plant for his grandfather and father.

 

THE NEXT GENERATION

In 1972, Harold’s son, David, was named president - 14 years after he began working for the company. A few years later, Chris Koch, David’s son, continued the tradition and began working in the Derby manufacturing plant for his grandfather and father.

New Era Cap Company


ONWARD AND UPWARD

Guided by David Koch’s vision, the 1980s became a decade of consistent growth. The company was producing headwear for college sports, AAA and International Baseball leagues and started selling caps to sports fans.


ONWARD AND UPWARD

Guided by David Koch’s vision, the 1980s became a decade of consistent growth. The company was producing headwear for college sports, AAA and International Baseball leagues and started selling caps to sports fans.

New Era Cap Company

 

THE ONE, TWO PUNCH

Being named the exclusive supplier of on-field caps for Major League Baseball in 1993 and experiencing its first brush with custom, fashion headwear in 1996 with Spike Lee, New Era was shaping a future of creativity and collaboration.

 

THE ONE, TWO PUNCH

Being named the exclusive supplier of on-field caps for Major League Baseball in 1993 and experiencing its first brush with custom, fashion headwear in 1996 with Spike Lee, New Era was shaping a future of creativity and collaboration.

New Era Cap Company


GO GLOBAL OR GO HOME

The vision that marked New Era’s growth in the 1920s and 1930s proved to be alive and well in the early part of the new millennium. The company’s globalisation efforts continued with offices opening up in Europe, Japan and Australia within a two-year period.

GO GLOBAL OR GO HOME

The vision that marked New Era’s growth in the 1920s and 1930s proved to be alive and well in the early part of the new millennium. The company’s globalisation efforts continued with offices opening up in Europe, Japan and Australia within a two-year period.

New Era Cap Company

ON FIELD

After decades as the official on-field cap of MLB, New Era set its sights on rounding out its exclusivity with the nation’s largest sports leagues. In 2012, New Era became the official sideline cap of the NFL, and, in 2016, became the official on court cap of the NBA; making New Era the only brand in sports history to have exclusive on-field, sideline and on court headwear rights for all three major U.S. leagues at the same time. New Era also expanded into European football with official headwear partnerships with Manchester United and Tottenham Hotspur. The demand for New Era caps continued with further deals in motorsport, golf, rugby and cricket.

ON FIELD

After decades as the official on-field cap of MLB, New Era set its sights on rounding out its exclusivity with the nation’s largest sports leagues. In 2012, New Era became the official sideline cap of the NFL, and, in 2016, became the official on court cap of the NBA; making New Era the only brand in sports history to have exclusive on-field, sideline and on court headwear rights for all three major U.S. leagues at the same time. New Era also expanded into European football with official headwear partnerships with Manchester United and Tottenham Hotspur. The demand for New Era caps continued with further deals in motorsport, golf, rugby and cricket.

New Era Cap Company

FIT FOR GLORY

Looking back at its first 100 years, New Era recognizes that it's just getting started. The brand has weathered highs and lows, always focused on quality and great storytelling. In 2020, it renewed its commitment to making great products, building strong relationships and changing the game in the worlds of both sport and culture. With the iconic 59FIFTY as its base, expect a future of exciting new products, always with authenticity in mind.

FIT FOR GLORY

Looking back at its first 100 years, New Era recognizes that it's just getting started. The brand has weathered highs and lows, always focused on quality and great storytelling. In 2020, it renewed its commitment to making great products, building strong relationships and changing the game in the worlds of both sport and culture. With the iconic 59FIFTY as its base, expect a future of exciting new products, always with authenticity in mind.