A Short Discourse on Hats for Christmas

So I got two hats for Christmas. One is made by Kangol and one is made by Cima Coppi. As I started taking off the tags I was struck buy all subtle differences in packaging and brand-differentiation and how these two companies communicate to their customers through the tags and labels they put on their hats.

The Cima Coppi hat says nothing on the outside. On the hat band, as you can see in the picture: a simple stamp that has a logo and says: “cima coppi HandMade in Vancouver Canada”. There’s a tag attached that says exactly the same thing (I’m assuming it’s the same stamp) with the size M handwritten on it. I’ve also shown a picture of the reverse of the tag where you can see, in addition to the retailer’s price tag, another handwritten note: “100% recycled wool – handwash cold”.

Compare this to the Kangol cap:

The Kangol hat has a catchy Kangaroo logo that’s embroidered into the back of the hat and printed on most the labels and tags. It has a large lable printed onto the inside (you can see it in the picture). That label states that it’s “100% pure new wool in three languages and gives washing instructions and says “Designed in Britain”. Another label at the back of the band gives the size, model number (I assume), origin (China), size, and a few other details. A second label at the back says “Kangol Founded 38.83 Blue”. I think Blue is the model name of this cap.

It has a set of three removable tags. One is clear plastic describing, sort of, the origin of the company: “Founded 38.83  – Born British ’38 but raised on the streets of New York ’83”. A second tag is a ribbon with the Kangol logo and “Blue”. The third tag says: “Blue is unwaveringly true to the original ethos of the Kangol brand. Quality, value and unquestionably good product. No matter how the world changes these values won’t.” I have to admit, when I see little statements like this, I imagine the marketing consultants and company executives sitting around a sleek board room with large corplast boards on easels gazing at mockups and talking about the deep psychological buttons they’re trying to push and I wonder, don’t they realize that the more resources they pour into this kind of thing and more slick and “retro” they make it look and sound, the harder it is for them to overcome the powerful discrepancies between their labelling and Cima Coppi’s and what that says to me about the overall quality and authenticity?

Not that I’m complaining, mind you. They’re both nice hats and generous gifts.


  1. […] Last Christmas there was my favourite winter cap made by a guy in Vancouver . I wrote about it here. Then I got one in Copenhagen from Cykler Schroeder that I wore during Cycling for Libraries (when […]

    The Digital Cobbler » Blog Archive » New Cap | July 21, 2011 # 8:47 pm
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