In April, a few days after announcing my new album Mr. Morale & the Big Steppers, Kendrick Lamar attended a game of the Los Angeles Dodgers. He’s sitting on the right stand among those loyal to the Dodgers, surrounded by a sea of blue baseball caps. On the contrary, his choice of headgear was puzzling: a black and white crochet bucket hat that was as high as a hood and pulled low over the eyes like a beanie.
The only weird thing compared to seeing Lamar hug a bardcore is continue to see him do so. According to NYC-based artist Emily Dawn Long, who designed this hat in collaboration with knitwear designer Maria Dora, Lamar has purchased about 20 pieces so far. And he seems to be wearing a hat that Dawn Long calls “The hat is named Wanda,” whenever he’s not wearing his diamond encrusted titanium crown of thorns performed by Tiffany. Like when he record The spirit of Mr.and when he stepped onto the stage at Coachella this spring, and then at a party listening to Spotify in Ghana.
Unlike Kanye West, who can be single-handed inspire Twenty-year-old men walk out of the house dressed as if they’re about to wade through a quagmire, and Kendrick doesn’t rank among pop culture’s top style icons. He dresses comfortably and casually – like an MFA student with a Grailed account. A person has the feeling that he is not easily receptive to fashion obsessions. His preference for the simple bucket hat does not mark the launch of a trend but the culmination of a trend that has been building since the start of the pandemic. And it has helped turn Wanda into the lowest status symbol in fashion.
Wanda had a life before Kendrick. The whole thing started in February 2020, when Dawn Long released several dozen Wandas on her website. There isn’t much strategy behind the effort—after receiving dozens of compliments on the classic bucket hats she owns, Dawn Long thinks she should try to make them herself. “It’s not really about making a profit,” she said. “I just love doing things that I enjoy that I think people are missing.” She associates with Dora, whose day job involves making knitted clothes for movies like The Hunger Gamesto find a producer who could recreate the structure and shape of her favorite classic, and they ended up partnering with a producer in Peru working with indigenous women’s colleagues. , who specializes in crochet goods.
The timing coincides with the beginning of the global lockdown, right on the cusp of a return to cunning, runaway sensibilities, when people and their mothers pick up a pair of crochet hooks — or at least. Most are beginning to dress as members of a knitting circle. The first sale of several dozen hats sold out almost immediately. “It just exploded,” Dora said. “It was part of a bigger moment than we anticipated.”
There’s still a long way to go from pandemic proper to Kendrick Lamar’s dome, but Wanda is quickly starting to cross the creative circles downtown. Dawn Long, who has been creative in the past, said: “I am fortunate to have a pretty solid community. like Elon Musk for the Met Gala. Now, she spends her time between designing clothing and accessories for her brand and launching an anonymous phone sex app. Her studio follows the microcosm of NYC in what’s known as Dimes Square, and her initial Wanda clients were her downtown model and artist friends. With everyone more or less still in the house, Wanda quickly became popular on Instagram, the headgear of choice for a legion of impatient bored people. From there, Wanda essentially sold herself. According to Dawn Long, she has never given the hat to anyone – a rarity in today’s famed prototyping industry complex. “The whole thing is really ordinary and organic,” she said. “It was all word of mouth.” Or, to be more precise, from IG Story: Dawn Long and Dora sold every single Wanda they produced.