The “Summer of Trump” would have been nothing without the hat. That damned hat. The bulbous, grandpa-sized harness for The Donald’s flailing, wispy locks. Sometimes it was white. Sometimes it was red. It was the meme that wouldn’t die, even inspiring a parody Twitter account. Occasionally the slogan emblazoned on the front would change, but it usually carried the same simple message: “Make America Great Again.” Now the Strand bookstore is peddling a smart answer to Trump’s hat, with just a slightly altered slogan. Behold:
Isn’t the braid a nice touch? The hat was the brainchild of the venerable East Village bookshop’s marketing and design teams, who were hoping to use Trump’s profile and (at the moment) influence to promote, it would seem, the importance of reading. “It’s just a one-off product to capture the moment,” says Whitney Hu, marketing director for the Strand. “We really didn’t know what to expect when we launched it, but people are really digging the slogan.”
Priced at $14.95 (Trump’s go for $25 on his campaign site!), the hats are available online as well as in the store, which is located at 828 Broadway on the corner of 12th Street. Wu says they’ve been selling well since debuting two weeks ago. For the time being, the Strand has no plans to expand the slogan to include T-shirts, bumper stickers, or other forms of merch (as Trump has). But if they continue to sell, who knows?
“If it starts flying off the shelves, oh, you betcha we got some fun ideas stored up,” Hu says.
This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on September 21, 2015