In the wonderful world of menswear, amidst all the jackets, denim, and footwear, it’s easy to consider baseball caps an afterthought. One look at a hat from Poten, however, may force you to reconsider. Based in Tokyo and sharing the same parent company as Rostersox, Poten Hatsis giving the baseball cap the respect it deserves. While the hats themselves are vintage-inspired, the fabrics, patterns, and colours are fresh as can be. On top of that, every piece is made in Japan, so you can be sure that the quality is top tier.
Iguchi Hironobu, the man behind Poten and Rostersox, is a baseball fan.
A really, really big baseball fan. After growing up playing baseball as a child in Japan, he went on to play baseball in college, and then as a professional in the Japanese minor leagues. He is also the proud owner of one of Japan’s largest collections of baseball cards. The guy loves baseball.
Hiro translated this love of baseball into fashion industry success, founding his company Gwynn in 2012 (we couldn’t confirm, but we think the company name is probably a reference to San Diego Padres legend Tony Gwynn). Under the Gwynn umbrella, Hiro has several apparel and accessory brands, as well as the store Tamaniwa in Tokyo’s Ebisu district. Preeminent in the Gwynn universe are Poten and Rostersox, two brands responsible for some of the best accessories we’ve ever laid eyes on.
Poten’s origin story has become something of a cult legend among hat connoisseurs, a testament to Hiro’s love of baseball and sheer determination. It all starts with a factory in Japan. This factory is the official producer of baseball caps for Japan’s major league, Nippon Professional Baseball (NPB), and they make caps for no one else. Many brands have tried and failed to make caps at this factory, but Hiro refused to take no for an answer. Every three months for three years straight, he would visit the factory and attempt to convince them. Presumably exasperated and impressed by Hiro’s relentlessness, the factory eventually agreed to produce Hiro’s baseball caps.
The hard work paid off, because Poten’s baseball caps are undoubtedly the best in the biz.
The build quality is unbelievable and the vintage-inspired silhouette is endlessly wearable. The brims are wide and subtly curved, while the leather headband, leather strap, and medium depth crown ensures a perfect fit on all head shapes and sizes. Arguably the best part is the fabrics, ranging from technical water repellent nylons to rich corduroys and velour.