Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Jai Cruz

Almost a year ago I stumbled across a myspace for a 25 year old Bronx artist Jai Cruz. After a few emails back and forth I decided to commision Mr. Cruz for a hat for my collection. It was a natural fit for me to select a Yankees cap as the Yankees cap was the hat that really set of the world of custom fitteds.

The story goes that in 1996, Spike Lee contact Chris Koch, president of New Era caps. The film maker requested a custom red colorway of the traditional navy cap. After some consideration New Era agreed and produced a small batch of red Yankees caps. That year Mr. Lee was spotted at the 1996 World Series wearing the custom cap. This essentially was the beginning of the custom fitted cap, which opened the doors to a muli-million dollar business.

I had seen a Statue of Liberty cap that Jai had done a few years prior and fell in love with it. A few weeks later I received the cap that exceeded my expectations. Through his work, it was clear to see that Jai's attention to detail, dedication and passion will and has allowed him to climb the ladder as one of the games most talented custom artist. Today his custom work will run you about $250 depending on what you are looking for. The end product however is well worth the bill.
To date Jai has done custom work for DJ Green Lanter, Funk Master Flex, Danny Boy and Dave New York.
Serious inquiries can contact jai_cruz@verizon.net.