Monday, April 6, 2009

A web site on berets... Why?

When looking for a new beret, I found that there was hardly any information in the English language on this age-old, humble, but fascinating piece of head gear. 
Strange, since the beret played such a prominent role in so many fields. Whether it was adopted by artists and writers (Pablo Picasso, Leonard Cohen, Ernest Hemingway, Jean Paul Sartre, to name just a few...), used in conflicts through the ages (from the Carlist Wars in Spain through to Cuban revolutionaries to the blue berets of United Nations Peacekeepers all over the world), used as a piece of uniform by organizations of all kind (from St Johns Ambulance personnel through Scouting to the Chicana Brown Berets) or as the standard head gear of the Gauchos in South America.
After some googling around, I came upon the web site of photographer Ron Greer, in Seattle. It was through Ron that I acquired my first Boina Elosegui - and more than a few would follow. As Ron states on his web site (, this is 'THE greatest boina, or beret, made!', but more on that later.

From that point on, my search intensified. Hungry for more information on the background and history of the beret, I developed a fascination that rapidly turned into an obsession. Presently owning some 50 berets, I got to the point of beginning to wirte a book on the subject. And with the progress of the manuscript, a web site. So here we are. 


  1. Daan! Fifty berets puts you right in the league of Imelda Marcos et al. We could have a Beret Party

  2. Except that Ms Marcos was more interested in the lower side of the body, whereas I am more interested in what happens at the top...

  3. Hi Daan, as a woman I can tell you that a pair of high heels can lift your head as well as your mood. You do not even have to walk on them. Just the look of a pair of shoes can do that. Also there is a connection between berets and feet: my grandfather, who was bold, always had a beret on his head at home. He used to say that it was to prevent his feet from getting cold.

  4. Fantastic! Though not a grandfather myself, I understand completely where he comes from, especially on an Autumn day like today in Wellington, with the wind howling and still waiting for the Council to give consent for our new wood fire...
    Thanks, Lot.