Wednesday, July 31, 2019


One of the most favourite berets of all times is the Italian made basco Roma. 
The Basco Roma is the quintessential Italian beret. A beret that was worn by many, if not most, Italian factory workers, fishermen and peasants mid 21st century, hence it's Italian name 'Basco Popolare Operaio Uomo' or 'Popular Workers Beret'.
The Roma is traditionally only available in Black and Navy. Due to it's popularity, South Pacific Berets has these berets custom made in Bordeaux and Grey too; all in a one-size-fit-all model, fitted with satin lining and made on special order by Bascificio A. Setti.
A much larger range of colours can be found in our own range of Aotearoa Qui-Oui berets that are practically identical to the "real" Roma. 

Tuesday, July 30, 2019

Koi Berets

Not available at South Pacific Berets, but different/interesting enough to warrant a post on these Chinese made berets on The Beret Project!
Koi or more specifically jinli or nishikigoi, are colored varieties of Amur carp that are kept for decorative purposes in outdoor koi ponds or water gardens.

Koi varieties are distinguished by coloration, patterning, and scalation. Some of the major colors are white, black, red, orange, yellow, blue, and cream. The most popular category of koi is the Gosanke, which is made up of the Kohaku, Taisho Sanshoku, and Showa Sanshoku varieties.

Though not my style, they do quite nicely on a beret - available on Chinese websites like AliBaba and such. 

Monday, July 29, 2019

The New Models of Le Béret Français

Le Béret Français is a 100% made in France label by some of the most dedicated people in the French beret industry, keen to keep the artisan way of French Basque beret making alive. The company aims to ensure the beret is revived as the ultimate French fashion statement.
All materials and pieces are conceived, designed and produced exclusively in France. The beret collection is produced in Bayonne, capital of the French Basque Country and therewith the only true Basque beret manufacturer in France. What's more, even the wool used for the berets is French, coming from French sheep in the Provence.
The Le Béret Français berets distinguish themselves by multicolored knitting; a complicated technical process that can only be done on their own specially developed machinery. Berets in the tri-couleur of the French flag (or the British, US, Australian, NZ and many other countries for that matter) are absolutely unique. 
The same is valid for the beret made in the traditional colours of the Spanish anarchist movements of the 1930's. The upper end 'Mode' berets have a red cabillou (or 'txortena') in an otherwise strictly traditional headband-less, 28cm diameter lined beret. The red cabillou is Le Béret Français' unique trademark.
Being at the forefront of environmental production, Le Béret Français developed a range of Eco-berets, made completely of recycled materials: wool, synthetics, cotton, silk, as well as denim and PET bottles.

Sunday, July 28, 2019


Last week I spent on Fiji, a lovely break from the New Zealand winter (and an interesting testing ground for berets).
Leaving home at 4am to catch an Uber to the airport, I managed to forget to put my beret on - a very unusual thing to happen. However, the need for my 10.5p Auloronesa was small, 6 hours later and I fully enjoyed wearing both the Chyldish Fear' Naught (in earth/cotton) and an Eco-Printemps (blue) by Le Béret Français.
The Fear' Naught was the densest/heaviest of the two, but did very well in the warm, humid conditions. Great moist absorption on the rim and never becoming itchy or too warm - the solid cotton lining would have played a role here too.
The Eco-Printemps (made of recycled fibers like cotton, silk, linen, etc) felt absolutely feather light and could easily forget I was wearing a beret even at the hottest and sunniest time of day.
The Fear' Naught proved to do very well in a tropical downpour too; staying pretty much waterproof and keeping shape - pictured here drying on the dashboard of the rental vehicle.
Apart from myself, not many berets spotted on the Friendly Islands, apart from police at roadblocks and behind the speed radar.
One constable was friendly enough to let me have a peek inside his beret: made in India.
The only other Fijian boinero I can think of would be Josaia Voreqe Bainimarama, known commonly as Frank Bainimarama and sometimes by the chiefly title Ratu, a naval officer and politician who has been Prime Minister of Fiji since 2007 (I didn't get the opportunity to peek inside his beret...).
But really, I would strongly advise the PM and any Fijian government official to switch from Indian wool berets to a genuine Chyldish Fear' Naught or Eco-Printemps - satisfaction guaranteed!

Saturday, July 27, 2019

Portraits from Asturias

Portraits from boineros in Asturias (Spain)

Friday, July 26, 2019

Spike Lee's béret casquette Auloronesa

Film director Spike Lee has appeared on The Beret Project before (here), but usually it is hard to say exactly what beret someone is wearing.
Not with these photos!
It appears Mr Lee has fallen for the Auloronesa beret-casquettes in rust-red (and the last of these beauties are still available here). 

Thursday, July 25, 2019


The blues is a vocal and instrumental form of music based on the use of the blue notes and a repetitive pattern. The word is also often used in musical contexts to refer to the twelve-bar blues, a particular blues song form, or talking blues, a form of country music.
Blues or The Blues may also refer to:

Berets; in navy, azul, jean, midnight blue; in cotton, in Eco, in wool; traditional Basque berets and berets with a peak. 
This week on SPECIAL a large selection in all shades of blue; from Aotearoa - New Zealand, the Czech Republic, Argentina, Italy, Spain and France - all with one thing in common: a massive discount!
Now, for one week only, a fine selection of blue-shade berets with an up to 25+% discount (as long as stock lasts).

The Beret Spy's 61st Birthday

It has become a tradition of kinds, the birthday celebration of The Beret Spy, a.k.a. my brother Emile, on the 25th of July.
Happy 61st Bro!
Below the most recent spy pictures from his hand. 
Metro in Charleville (Belgium)
Army/Navy store Charleville (France)
Charleroi, Belgium
Den Bosch railway station, Netherlands

Wednesday, July 24, 2019

Berend Seiger

From his studio, artist Berend Seiger looks out over the Almelo - Nordhorn canal, enclosed by the wide meadows of the Agelo hamlet (Twenthe, Netherlands).
Berend comes from a working-class family from Oldenzaal and as a child he often visited the artist Jan Kip. 
Kip taught him the principles of sculpturing. Berend started at the age of six.
Berend calls himself a dreamer, someone who wants to bring back the symbolism of life in his sculptures.

Tuesday, July 23, 2019

Street Theater from Drenthe (NL)

Street Theater Group STOP Westerbork transfers old legends and stories from (the province of) Drenthe into plays. 
The performers are proud of the Drents' dialect and use this language in the performances!
Staged with humour and hilarity (so it says...). 

Monday, July 22, 2019

Pictures from Pamplona

Pamplona. 1954. © Inge Morath
Young women visiting the San Fermin Festival
Pamplona, 1930
Danzari, Pamplona
Pamplona. 1954. © Inge Morath
The Naked Truth