I have to begin this post by stating that for all those people who have come here expecting to read about TY’s plush toy craze from the late 90’s…you’re outta luck, well and truly. Whilst these tiny animals did play a part in my childhood I am going to talk about an entirely different type of beanie; the kind you wear on your head.
There are lots of ‘must have’ fashion items which tend to pass me by, after all I am by no means stylistically inclined (and I wore frickin’ tracksuits in school…tracksuits!). But over the last couple of days I’ve read a few articles about a new brand which is making waves amongst celebrities and young people across the globe; from David Beckham to the cool kids in sixth form, Commando beanies have officially arrived, and I’ll admit I am really intrigued about the company and what lies behind their success.
From what I understand, the company started off as a school project by a group of 16-17 year old’s for one of those Enterprise type schemes, I mean admittedly this is the school that the Duchess of Cambridge went to but it’s still seriously impressive. Taking a relatively simple and generic product like the beanie hat – something already something worn by famous faces – and adding branding to it, is something that has paid off big time for the students involved. I was involved in one of these Enterprise schemes at university myself, and whilst our project remained pretty much rooted in theoretical business plans, given the fate of Blockbuster I can’t imagine that a campus-based video shop would have done particularly well anyway.
The beanies themselves are pretty standard, but feature a leather-esque label on the front which proudly proclaims it’s uniqueness and ultimately desirability. Available for just £10 (plus £2.95 p&p), it is priced at an accessible level for most customers and in fact is probably no more than a regular beanie in the likes of Topman. A relatively basic website takes much inspiration from the likes of Asos and American Apparel, and features attractive models who would not look out of place standing smiling in the doorway of a Hollister store. The hats that Commando offer are even more interesting as they are ‘hand paint splattered’, making them even more unique and likely to appeal to fashionistas.
But why Commando and not one of the countless other fashion brands run by young people that I see plastered all over Facebook? All tend to have similarly attractive edgy models, clothing and websites, however the only one that seems to have remained in my mind is the Geordie-based Paradice clothing, and even that is because somebody I know appears to like every single one of the pictures they post (seriously my feed is clogged!). I think even considering their relatively simple/affordable product range, celebrity endorsement is the single most important reason why I am writing about Commando this afternoon. If beanie-king Beckham and relative newcomer Cara Delevingne (who I still have no clue as to why I know who she is) had not been featured in magazines and across the internet wearing the product, then I’m not sure that the brand would have had the power to reach anywhere near the level of success it has already achieved.
It’s always nice to see the hard work of young people pay off, and judging by Commando’s website (where half the stock is sold out and the other half demands a 31 day waiting list) it seems that their moment in the spotlight may just last longer than they had expected. On that note I’m off to enter my debit card details and buy one for myself! 🙂
Commando’s Twitter: https://twitter.com/commando_ye