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Caps Become Canvases in New Era’s Student Design Competition [Slideshow]

The fitted baseball cap is a staple of modern urban fashion, but who knew the company that popularized it, New Era, is almost a century old? To celebrate their 90th anniversary with a infusion of new creative blood, the Buffalo, NY-based headwear brand invited 90 students from Europe’s top design schools to add their personal style to a blank white 59FIFTY fitted cap. (The same sort you see baseball players wearing.) The results, including Shotaro Ishii’s eco-inspired version above, “clearly demonstrate the wealth of creative talent about to enter the commercial world,” according to New Era’s press release.

The students’ work incorporates diverse influences from fashion, graffiti, jewelry design, and graphic arts, and will be displayed in five art galleries in London, Barcelona, Paris, Berlin, and Milan until December. New Era will also publish photographs of the caps (as well as a retrospective of the brand’s headwear in general) in a coffee table book.

But the sweetest reward, given to just one of the ninety entries, will be a £10,000 grant intended to launch the winning student’s “chosen artistic career,” according to New Era. Here’s a taste of the competition.

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