UNDFTD x Kangol ECK - 1: Q&A with Eddie Cruz

UNDFTD kicks off its upcoming collaboration this weekend with the launch of the Eddie Cruz-designed UNDFTD x Kangol ECK – 1. Combining the pedigree and heritage of Kangol with the inspiration of a traditional baseball cap, Eddie Cruz gave us a little insight into the creation of the ECK – 1. The UNDFTD x Kangol ECK – 1 releases instore on Saturday, May 29th at UNDFTD Chapter locations and online at UNDFTD.com.

Can you go over the details and process of designing the ECK – 1. How does the ECK – 1 differ from Kangol’s usual line of caps?
Eddie Cruz: This is a completely new style for Kangol. We took traditional features from a Major League Baseball cap and threw them on a classic Kangol Driving Hat.

Did you always have a clear vision as to how you would re-appropriate a hat given the opportunity?
EC: Yes, I’ve worn Kangol my whole life. Undefeated being a sports inspired brand gave me the perfect opportunity to put a simple but wearable twist on a classic.

Where there any difficulties in production due to the new style?
EC: No, not at all. It’s all about providing the manufacturer with proper fabric and color standards. This, along with a thorough tech pack, makes the process super easy.

When going to the design board for an accessory like a cap, you’re probably left with certain limitations relative to designing footwear due to the real estate you have to work with. Does this make it more difficult or easier to design headwear?
EC: Fact is, if your restyling something that’s going to be on some ones head, it needs to be simple. The details we added to this traditional driving hat are so subtle, that you hardly notice them, but if you look closely, you can totally see where the inspiration came from.

Over the last few months of 2010, we’ve seen UNDFTD at the center of a number of team-up projects. The topic has been beaten to death but arguably UNDFTD have as much experience as any in collaborations. Have you figured out the proper way to execute or angle a collaboration in a new era?
EC: Well, we like to go with a ‘less is more” philosophy. We’re lucky enough to have a few icons and phrases that we always work with. In the end, we know that authenticity is the most important aspect in head wear.

Much of UNDFTD’s collaborative projects have seen you partner mostly with well-known personalities and brands, anything in the plans to work together with some factions that are lesser known as well?
EC: Yes, we plan on working with brands like Native, Clae, Gourmet and Generic Surplus just to name a few. These are brands that we carry and sell very well in all of our shops.

The UNDFTD world seems to encompass any and every sport from automotive racing to soccer and other traditional North American sports, what’s a sport that perhaps isn’t big in America that you can really get behind and appreciate?
EC: Rugby?

The 2010 World Cup is this year’s defining sports event, who’s your favorite to be crowned champions in 2010?

What to Read Next

Gallery 1950 x Porter Outdoor Waist Bag
Drake featuring Jay-Z - Light Up
NOWNESS: Darcel's Appointment at Louis Vuitton
Kitsune x Andre Store Preview