carhartt: workwear becomes trendy


art by: emily aslanis

Carhartt. Originally a workwear brand for men, but it has recently turned into the most popular trend for beanie wear between Millennials and Generation Z. How did a trend so obscure become a classic for many young people? The cause behind this trend is the rising popularity of skater culture and hip-hop culture within these two generational groups. To understand the rise in popularity behind this beanie, we first must look at the history, which really says it all.  

Carhartt first released their beanie in 1987. Around the 1990’s the brand took off among most rappers. Almost instantly after that Carhartt became popular among skaters, so much so that they created a new line of Carhartt that would better fit these laid back teens. They partnered with Feah, who took the brand to a new level. He branded his own line named Carhartt Work in Progress in which he tailored existing Carhartt clothes to better fit skaters’ needs and preferred silhouettes, while keeping the signature high quality duck canvas. Work in Progress was at first only in Europe, but in 2011 it entered the American market with a store in SoHo. Around that time, A.P.C. (a French ready-to-wear brand) partnered with Work in Progress on a few pieces, including a beanie, which instantly elevated the brand to fashion relevancy. A year later, Rihanna was photographed in a neon-yellow beanie, taking the Carhartt beanie trend to the next level. Skater culture started making its way to runway fashion and things really started taking off for Carhartt. Other traditionally workwear brands started gaining popularity on the runway, like chore coats, canvas Detroit jackets and Dickies’ workpants. Once they trickled down to mainstream fashion, most Millennials and Generation Z knew the way to pair their fresh pairs of Dickies’ was with a Carhartt beanie. 

Now that Carhartt realized the beanie popularity within the generations of young people, they have made it as accessible to them as possible. Now, you can find Carhartt beanies anywhere from Amazon to your favorite boutique and the price will always be just $15, which isn’t too steep of a price for many Gen Z’s and Millennials. The rise in popularity and acceptance of skater culture took the Carhartt beanie trend to another level, and now, wherever you go, I will bet you see a Millennial or Generation Z wearing a Carhartt beanie, no matter their gender.

Streetwear trends are very universal because anyone can wear it, no matter your age, gender, or any other factor that may affect style. The future is leaning towards inclusivity between everyone, and streetwear is the first sign of this acceptance being integrated into fashion. Anyone can rock a Carhartt beanie, which is the amazing thing about this beanie. As long as you rock it with confidence, you’ll have this cool trend on lock. Streetwear is the wave of the future and picking up a Carhartt beanie would be in your best interest to join the most universal trend of 2020.