Kangol’s high-profile caps got a boost when rap star LL Cool J topped his sexy bald head with a terry cloth fishing style cap with kangaroo logo from Kangol. Although Kangol was new on the hip-hop scene, the hat company has a long history of over sixty years. Kangol caps have been in business since 1938, when men and women wouldn’t even think about leaving the house without a hat perched on top of their head. But once John F. Kennedy went bareheaded, the hat fell out of favor, and Kangol remained quiet until the rap explosion of the 80’s.
Kangol snap caps were favorite casual/sportswear for men, and the berets were a part of the British armed forces’ uniform during WWII. Kangol hats differed from the traditional wool cap, and blended wool with angora, or rabbit hair. Hence the name Kangol: ang for angora, ol for wool, and the cool sounding K to create their new name.
The Kangol cap came back to the spotlight when the rap world adopted the hat for the cool headgear of the street-styled 80’s. Run DMC, Doug E. Fresh and especially LL Cool J returned the tradition of Kangol caps to the heads, and their young fans followed suit. The hip-hop culture embraced the hopping mascot, and Kangols battled it out against baseball caps for the crown of coolest headwear.
When Pulp Fiction director Quentin Tarantino sported the backwards ‘Spitfire’ cap as his headgear of choice both on and off the screen, Kangol came back for a second round. The backwards snap cap with the kangaroo mascot became the only way to wear Kangol in the 90’s, and Tarantino’s Jackie Brown featured the cap in more scenes than co-star Briget Fonda. Now that’s good publicity.