Corey LeFebvre is a giant in the fitted game. With a collection well into triple digits, he represents the essence of a great collector. Just like those who came before in our collectors series, he prides himself on the quality of what he has, not merely the quantity.
Although, a selective eye may not be what all of our readers considder to be the first and foremost quality of collecting New Era Caps, it certainly is an admirable and appreciated aspect. Take a journey with us, as we learn what drives Corey in his quest, one 59/50 at a time.
TFD: Where are you from and where do you currently reside?
CL: I was born in a small town in North Dakota, called Minot, but I've been living in Tacoma, Washington since I was four years old. We are kind of like Seattle's less popular, ghetto little brother.
TFD: What size New Era Cap do you wear?
CL: 7 3/4, but sometimes I have to step down to a 7 5/8, depending on the hat material, age, and country of origin.
TFD: When did you start collecting New Era Caps?
CL: I started collecting seriously a little over two years ago. I'm sort of a newcomer to this thing, or at least I feel like I am. I had long hair down to my ass for most of my life. I always loved hats, though flat bill fitteds with long hair or a pony tail didn't look good, so I would wear beanies with my hair tucked in them most of the time. When I finally decided to cut my hair, I went to the mall, got it hacked off, and walked out with a Seattle Mariners on-field cap on my head. A few days later, I was surfing for hats online, and stumbled upon The Clink Room website, and the rest was history. I think I ordered like twelve hats from them in the first month, and I've steady been rocking and copping them ever since.
TFD: What was your first New Era?
CL: The first New Era I ever owned was an away cap from my hometown baseball club, the Minot Mallards. It had a green crown with a red bill, and a gray under. I have the teams logo tattooed as part of my sleeve on my right leg.
TFD: Do you still own it?
CL: No, and it haunts me every damn day. Reward if you can find it!
TFD: How large is your collection?
CL: Last count, I was just over 200, but it's hard to say exactly. I am strictly fitteds, no snap-backs allowed. 98% of my collection are New Era's, but I do have a handful of Stall and Dean caps, mainly in teams New Era doesn't produce caps for. The quality from Stall and Dean does not compare to that of a New Era 59/50.
TFD: Do you see yourself collecting forever?
CL: Yes I do, but I see my collection becoming more selective. I'm sort of on the hunt for more rare items already, and I see that being where my attention goes.
TFD: Are There any caps that you would regard as your "holy grail"?
CL: In addition to the Minot Mallards cap I talked about earlier, I've got a couple in my head that leave me feeling incomplete because I don't own them. There are a few Dragon Ball hats I would love to own. I've had the chance to buy them, but either the price or the size wasn't right. I love the Disney branded stuff; the Winnie The Pooh ones in particular I'm always looking for.
TFD: Where is your favorite place to shop for caps?
CL: That's hard to say. I shop everywhere. Locally, I'm pretty much stuck with Lids or Just Sports if I want to actually try the hat on before I buy it. I frequent the three or four malls around here, and most of the hat store employees know me. I've ordered from every website there is; I've done eBay, I've bought from private sellers overseas, I've picked up gems at minor league and major league sporting events. I'm constantly shopping for hats. My favorites are ones that I have traded with people online or were given to me from friends in the fitted game. The Crew Era 13 guys specifically have always had my back in that department. The fact that we are all so spread out across the country makes it a little easier to find stuff when you're desperate.
TFD: What is your favorite cap?
CL: Probably my "Shams" hat from The Clink Room. It's just classic with the design and execution of craftsmanship; The colors are simple and perfect. I'm having to limit the wear on the thing, so I can keep it fresh in the collection. Losing or ruining a hat beyond repair is one of my biggest fears!
TFD: As a sports fan, what teams do you root for?
CL: Of course I root for the home teams; the Mariners and the Seahawks. I loved watching the SuperSonics as a kid. I'm hoping we might get them back someday.
TFD: What do you feel makes your collection great and/or unique?
CL: I take pride in my collection in the fact that I think all of them are "nice". I'm a fan of simple designs and color patterns. Sometimes, hats can be too loud. I'm not going to say I don't own a few, but for the most part, I think my collection is low key and just "nice". I've always gotten compliments on the colorways of a lot of my caps. I guess I got a good eye for it.
TFD: What's on your radar in terms of "caps to pick up"?
CL: I've got my eye on a few of The Simpsons collection fitteds that are dropping in Japan soon. I'm also looking to get one of the Spike Lee Heritage Series caps, when they hit flagship stores in a few months.
TFD: Any advice to any of the young collectors just getting into the game?
CL: Wear what you like, rep what you love, and dont be afraid to talk and share your passion with other collectors. I have friends all over the place because of my love for fitted hats, and that's what I feel it's all about. If you have three caps that you wear on a steady rotation because they represent you and you love them, then that's flying your own flag. In my opinion, you're doing it right. If you've got a hat for every day of the year and they speak to you at the same time, then hell yes, keep it up!
Anyone can spend a shit-ton of money and become the king of caps, but that doesn't mean you're better than the next guy. Stay humble, keep it positive, and have fun. I mean, it IS just hats for crying out loud.
TFD: If people want to follow you and your collection, in terms of social media, where should they look for you?
CL: Make sure to check out myself and a whole bunch of really good guys on Instagram. I use IG primarily to display my collection. My handle is @bigc253. You can also find me on Twitter @253bigc. I'm also one of the administrators of a fan page on facebook called Team Fitted; be sure to find us on there too!
I'd like to thank Corey for being a really inspirational and fun interview. Hopefully the readers found a truly solid collector to keep an eye on. He's the guy with the awesome beard, if you were curious. Until next time, thanks for reading The Fitted Diaries.