Off-White is here to tell you that yes, bucket hats are now well and truly mainstream

19th Jun 19 | Beauty

No longer are they are a retro accessory, but a certified piece of high fashion.

Paris Fashion Mens S/S 2019 Off White

Fashion is basically a cycle of nostalgia. Things that were in style decades ago have since fallen out of favour and then come back to life, a process which is constantly repeated.

It’s basically the fashion trend circle of life. That Nineties-favourite accessory, the bucket hat, has been staging a slow and steady comeback, and now it’s reached the mainstream, featuring on the runways of Paris Fashion Week Men’s.

Back in the day, bucket hats were seen as the reserve of stoners with greasy hair, but this is really all changing now.

Off-White show
(Thibault Camus/AP)

The only place where bucket hats have stayed pretty much constantly popular is in the hip hop scene, and they’re slowly widening their reach. This perhaps speaks to a broader trend – just think of how much of the high fashion catwalks are populated by streetwear, much of which is inspired by – or straight out of – the fashion of hip hop, rap and grime.

Q Awards 2017 – London
MCs like Skepta have worn bucket hats for years – now it’s reaching the mainstream (Ian West/PA)
Music Video Bucket Hat GIF - Find & Share on GIPHY

Off-White is behind the high fashion resurgence of the bucket hat. The brand’s creative director, Virgil Abloh, is widely regarded as a tastemaker, so people really take notice of what he sends down the catwalk.

It’s clear that Abloh’s a big fan of bucket hats – the runway was full of them in blues, blacks and greys, with varying amounts of detailing (including the odd paper clip). Even though Off-White features a lot of streetwear, Abloh proved how versatile the bucket hat can be, dressing it down with an oversized rain jacket, and dressing it up by pairing it with more formal jackets and denim shirts.

Off-White show
(Thibault Camus/AP)

The setting itself was far from the streetwear origins of the bucket hat. Abloh set up his Parisian runway in between a bed of white flowers, and as part of the finale models walked through the field.

Gigi Hadid led the finale of models walking through the field of flowers
Gigi Hadid led the finale of models walking through the field of flowers (Thibault Camus/AP)

It makes sense for a brand like Off-White to give bucket hats the high fashion treatment. The name comes from “defining the grey area between black and white” – in fact, Abloh is so committed to this concept of the in-between that he even called his son Grey.

By bringing bucket hats to the long-established event of Paris Fashion Week, he’s blurring the lines between streetwear and high fashion, and because of his background in hip hop (he’s a DJ who rose to prominence as Kanye West’s creative director), Abloh is perfectly placed to do so.

Off-White show
(Thibault Camus/AP)

Now that it’s been given the Paris Fashion Week Men’s seal of approval, we can expect to see bucket hats everywhere in the near future. But as with all fashion trends, as it gains popularity it’s important to respect where it comes from – so you can appreciate the fashion, as opposed to just appropriating it.

© Press Association 2019