When is the last time you saw a truly stylish baseball cap? Does the phrase “stylish baseball cap” seem like an oxymoron? Stiksen founder Asim doesn’t think so. In fact, he thinks people should wear caps – baseball caps and flat caps – anywhere and everywhere.
“I’ve always been a cap-wearer,” Asim explains, “In Sweden, caps aren’t as popular as, for instance in the United States. But if you’re a basketball player in Sweden, as I am, there’s definitely a cap culture attached to that. So I wanted to normalize that across Sweden and Europe, coming from a fashion angle.”
What he means is that the caps are minimalist and high-quality in a way that speaks to the fashion set as well as general cap-lovers. Produced in either wool or linen, Stiksen’s flat caps and baseball caps are sleek and well-made, with only a small gold-plated logo symbol on the back of the hat and brass hardware on the strap.
“I want people to feel dressed up in a cap, rather than dressed down,” Asim explains. “My dream would be for someone to wear a Stiksen cap to their wedding,” he laughs.
A constant cap-wearer himself, Asim has been told his whole life that he must remove his cap in school or at dinner. “The word ‘stiksen’ in Swedish means, ‘leave!’ or ‘get out of here'” Asim says. “I had a teacher in primary school who would always make me take my cap off in class, then when he gave it back to me at the end of the day he would say, ‘ta på dig kepsen och stick sen.’ (take your cap and get out of here!). That’s how the name came about, and I wanted to make something in a kind of rejection of that idea that we need to take our caps off.”
Asim’s family is originally from Bangladesh, and he spent one year developing the first prototype – the baseball cap – while finding great production partners through his relatives. “I really wanted to support the textile industry there, and create something really high-quality at the same time. I knew what I could do that by utilising my connections and finding the right factory to work with. I found a really great one outside of Dhaka and visit about every 18 months. Going through the prototyping process was long and also expensive, but it was really worthwhile.”
Finally launching online with international shipping in 2018, Stiksen has grown quickly, but Asim’s vision is long-term.
“Right now we’re online, but we’re looking to have some retailers soon,” he says. “I’m also really interested in collaborations and there will be a few of those coming up soon, including one with a record label. There are a lot of really cool cultures – from music to sports – where caps are a part of the look, so I want to make sure I’m including those communities.”
Asim is also aware that creating a product that lasts for a long time isn’t enough in terms of sustainability. “Our vision for 2020 is to start incorporating organic and eco-friendly materials, so we’ve been experimenting with lyocell and organic cotton. It’s important to me that the caps, and the brand, are always improving.”
But the heart of Stiksen is simple: it’s about making caps more high-end. “I think that whatever someone’s style is, they should be able to wear it casually or more formally. So if you love caps, then you should be able to wear a cap when you leave the gym, but also at a fancy dinner. When they’re as good as ours, it changes the profile a bit and makes it more acceptable,” Asim says.
Baseball and flat caps may not be to everyone’s taste for formal-wear, but who the hell cares? A good cap is a good cap, and it doesn’t get much better than Stiksen.
Find out more about Stiksen.