Princess Diana appears in Vogue wearing one of his pieces in 1983.

In 1983 it was recognized that Kangol needed a mark to distinguish the world famous product. The Cleator factory in Britain had been experimenting with logos and sent out a whole batch for his review. These ranged from crocodiles to horses and turtles. Americans had been going into stores asking for the “kangaroo” hats. So instead of trying to fight it, Kangol adopted the Kangaroo into the logo.

Synonymous with the fact that Kangol had an identifiable logo when sales reached a record high, was the fact that a famous young rapper named James Todd Smith, better know as LL Cool J, wore a Kangol Bermuda Casual on the cover of his sophomore album. He stayed rocking Kangol in his videos and public appearances throughout his overwhelmingly successful music career, making it an integral part of Hip-Hop history. In the years to come Kangol would cover the heads of such hip hop greats as Slick Rick, Erik B and Rakim, and Grand Master Flash.

Another success in the USA came when the Vent-Air cap was introduced in the early 80s. It had remarkable appeal in America and went on to become Kangol’s biggest selling summer cap. Made in Britain and exported to the USA, it came about as part of Kangol’s product development programme.

Kangol caps and hats became the essential headwear in the clubs and ‘on the streets’ tapping into a rising sub-culture of non-designer desirable labels. The company was astounded by the remarkable rise in popularity on the Kangol ‘504.’ Almost overnight, the 504 became the ‘cool’ fashion accessory.



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  • 1981_01


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  • 1983_02


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    Janette Beckman

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