Objects of summer worship: the bob

Back to these fetishes that accompany our summer, from the portable speaker to pétanque balls, from tap dancing to raffia basket, including the bob, an original light hat military, back in fashion.

Look around you: it’s on everyone’s mind. We hardly exaggerate. In the street, at the beach, in the mountains or on Instagram: the bob, whether navy blue, canary yellow or camouflage print, in cotton, velvet or imitation leather, with string or quilted, made in France or made in China, new or chiné, at five or four hundred euros, swarms before your eyes, well screwed on the skulls. Including those of people , obviously – we think, pell-mell, of Simon Porte Jacquemus , Kylian Mbappé, Timothée Chalamet , Rihanna, Nabilla or countless rappers (from Jul in Booba).

Without completely dethroning the cap, the bell-shaped hat is now worn whatever the weather … or the season. And it has been accompanying for a few summers the banana + set slide-socks dear to young people. Logically, all the claws decline the bob: from streetwear (Adidas, Lacoste) to luxury (Chanel, Prada) through fast fashion (H&M, Zara). Until being the subject of a special limited edition Euro 2020 for the French football team.

“Since autumn / winter 2019 , especially the Dior show, the bob has become mainstream , abounds stylist Alice Desideri, from the Peclers trends office. For any brand, this is an easy and inexpensive accessory to produce. It is unisex, anyone can wear it. And whether it is a luxury item or a mass-market item, it allows you to break up a silhouette. ” A comeback that is going to last? Because it is indeed a comeback as fashion knows regularly, between rediscovery and nostalgia. Recent examples: the mullet cut or the bandana, but especially the years old shoes 80 – 90 , comfortable but not very aesthetic, famous “dad shoes” . “I have the impression that the bob is part of the same idea as these sneakers worn by the previous generation and considered ugly, that the younger generation has finally appropriated with humor. , to the point of making it a real fashion phenomenon ”, estimates art historian Sophie Lemahieu, co-author of the book History of fashions and clothing.

Until the middle of the years 2010, this light and easy to store in your pocket, traditionally made of canvas, was still seen as the last straw. Headwear devoid of elegance, but very practical to avoid sunstroke, favorite of old people, toddlers… and Tour de France aficionados. Over the Great Loop, the Cochonou sausage brand, for example, claims to distribute each year 90 000 copies of his, with red and white checks. A nice marketing operation of which Paul Ricard had the idea from 110 to circumvent a law prohibiting the advertising of aniseed spirits through posters and the press. But the “popu” bob does not prevent the “pointed” version, fashionable thanks to normcore in particular, this sartorial celebration of banality. The “bucket hat” (“bucket hat” as the English speakers say) had already been a trendy accessory on the haute couture catwalks (at Jean-Paul Gaultier, in particular) at the turn of the 21st century.

It has above all been one of the favorite accessories of rappers for years 72 on both sides of the Atlantic, which has become a symbol of belonging to hip-hop culture – let us quote, among others, the famous red model of the Australian brand Kangol of New York rapper LL Cool J and the one by Joey Starr, NTM period . Let us also note its diffusion among golfers, skaters, surfers and British ravers, fond of the Californian label Stussy. Alice Desideri specifies: “Its shape, in particular its crown, has become more voluminous and has evolved according to the subcultures. It has become more street in the years 72 even if it has kept certain details such as the ventilation holes, the colors or the cords found on military hats. ”

Initially, the bob was above all a functional hat. An essential for protecting yourself from the rain and the sun, even in strong winds. One of these ancestors would also be the sou’wester , according to the Guardian , in oiled canvas resistant to water and bad weather, worn by English fishermen in the early twentieth century. It would be found concomitantly among Irish farmers and fishermen. From the years 27 , the Israel Defense Forces would also have adopted this type of multi-purpose hat which is rather practical in the desert. Just like the American army and the troops of the Commonwealth, which still wear this kind of hat in hot latitudes (the boonie hat , in particular, since the Vietnam War). In France, the diminutive bob would also come from the nickname, “Bobs”, given to the GI’s at the end of the landing, otherwise known as Roberts. Its qualities would then have gradually seduced the masses. Until becoming an emblem of cool. “The transition from the military cloakroom to fashion clothing, like the fatigues in the years 40, is a very frequent phenomenon, complements Sophie Lemahieu. This is also very true for clothes used for practical reasons by sailors, which are gradually becoming unisex fashion pieces. ” Even if it means making you forget your origins and become a master key.