The last time I spoke with John Lennon - in 1975, at Cynthia’s house, when he phoned Julian - he told me that he still wore the very first leather cap I ever made for him in 1964 and that it was his all-time favourite hat. I was touched - John was more sentimental than he cared to let on - and I occasionally wondered what kind of condition it was in. It’s only now, thanks to the internet, google and superfans, that I am finally getting to see the evidence!
In the past 12 months, I've discovered from archive images not only that Yoko also wore my cap (I posted that on Instagram on Feb 24) but also that John really was rocking it deep into the 1970s.
My dear friend the super-talented Javier Parisi just sent me this fab photo of John relaxing in Bel Air, where he had rented a house. The snap made me think of John’s “retirement from showbiz” song, released posthumously in 1981.
"I'm just sittin' here watchin' the wheels go round and round; I really love to watch them roll. No longer ridin' on the merry-go-round; I just had to let it go."
I'm also posting below a Henry Grossman image, shot on location during the filming of Help! I'd not seen this one until somebody shared it recently on Instagram. If you’d like to order your own John Lennon cap, created from my original design in the same soft black leather, hit this link to the shop section.
Also in Stories
A loving tribute to June, life model and friend of John Lennon and Helen Anderson, who died in 2020. My reflections of some of the funniest moments of our time together with John in our art classes.
For the inside story on John Lennon and loads of memories from fashion designer Helen Anderson - Lennon's friend and of course the designer of his famous leather cap - listen to this great interview with Jude Southerland Kessler.
A little anecdote that sprang from an interview I did with BBC 2 in 2021 for a documentary called A Life in Ten Pictures: John Lennon. For some behind-the-scenes Beatles colour, read on!
How to measure your head for my leather cap
A message from Helen about sizing:
Hats are a bit like jackets and dresses: sizes are supposed to be universal but may vary from one manufacturer to another. I can’t guarantee you a perfect fit, but I can do my best to help.
My cap is available in 4 sizes: Small (S), Medium (M), Large (L) and Extra Large (XL). It’s an investment piece, so I encourage you also to invest three minutes to find the perfect fit.
Don’t just guess your size!
John Lennon’s head measured 23.5 inches. He was a size XL (big brain!). Here's how I measured it, back in 1964 - and how you can measure yours now.
- Don’t panic if you don’t have a tailor’s tape measure handy. You can also use a length of string or ribbon, and then measure it against a ruler.
- Place the string or tape around your head about 3mm above your ear, across the mid-forehead, completely circling your head. Hold the tape firmly, but not super-tightly.
- I’d like you to measure your head exactly where the cap will sit. If your measurement falls between sizes, choose the next size up.
Remember: If you have big hair, you’ll probably need the next size up!
You will need to tell me your size at the time you order.
If you are in such a hurry to get hold of a cap that you don’t have time to measure your head, you could also check the size of another hat that fits: hat sizes are universal… in theory. Don’t see your size? Have a special request?