Take Off Your Tinfoil Hat and Rock These Slightly Paranoid Kangol Hats Instead
In 1927, a science writer who worked at the London Zoo published a piece of short fiction called The Tissue-Culture King. It's a super weird story, about a scientist who gets lost in the jungle. He encounters an evil king who exerts telepathic power over the whole kingdom, and the only way to prevent him from reading your thoughts is to cover your head in metal (tinfoil)—this is how the pop culture cliche of the tinfoil-hat-wearing paranoiac was born.
At least, that's the first thing I thought of when reading the latest press release and lookbook from Kangol, which this season has incorporated allusions to tracking and surveillance into into its otherwise untouchable vintage silhouettes.
In some instances they've replaced their iconic kangaroo with barcodes, saying, "within the collection there are hidden codes and diagrams, placed in both expected and unusual locations. Codes have always been used as a form of communication, and in today's world they are used for tracking just about everything. The UPC collection logo is inspired by tracking labels, and the Barcode Beanie has Kangol® hidden within the texture of the lightweight cotton knit."
Before they were associated with rapping and breaking, the Kangol hat was a soldier's beret, the trademark kangaroo only becoming part of pop culture through hip-hop in the late 1980s. As it happens, this was also exactly the same time when the personal computer began to become integral to the family home.
"No one could have predicted how it would transform our everyday lives," says the release. "This evolution has inspired the SS15 collection, from the invention of the simple grid, to binary, barcodes and digital art."
To provide "contrast" to technology's overpowering modern influence, however, they've also infused some hand-drawn elements into the designs, particularly in the the Digi Marble Casual and Supre, which come in "a computer-generated distorted print."