More and more casting news is coming out about the reboot of White Men Can’t Jump — last week, it was announced that Jack Harlow was playing Woody Harrelson’s character — but we still don’t know anything about the most important detail of the whole thing: Will Wesley Snipes’ baby blue and orange Colnago cap return as well?
Interestingly, it was a famous cycling (read: not basketball) cap that helped those who couldn’t shell out a few thousand bucks for an actual Colnago bicycle to still show their brand loyalty, albeit at a much lower price point. As for why it was in a basketball movie, according to BasketballNoise.com, it could have been because by putting both Snipes and Harrelson in hats throughout the film, it better distinguished them for the audience from the other players in the basketball scenes.
Other theories from fans on BikeForums.net suggest that cycling caps and bike shorts were just part of the look at the time. “So much style in the ‘80s came from cycling/messengers. That was the golden age for bike messengers,” writes one commenter. “You know Flava Flav’s huge clock that he wears around his neck? That **** came from messenger style. Cats used to wear analog stopwatches around their necks to time their runs, and it crossed over into hip hop. Flav just took it to the extreme.”
Most likely, though, whoever put together Snipes’ wardrobe had seen the 1989 Nike ads promoting the Jordan 4s and 5s. According to StockX Magazine, Spike Lee, who directed and starred in those ads, had accidentally found his famous Brooklyn Cycling Cap in a local store and decided it was the missing piece to Mars Blackmon’s outfit in She’s Gotta Have It. To Lee, writes Mattia Rinieri, it represented “the neighborhood where he grew up and his love for the cycling world, which immediately made this piece cool and iconic.”
In one of the ads, Jordan also dons the cycling cap. So naturally, if you’re making a basketball movie and you need the audience to believe that an actor can ball, who better to emulate, stylistically, than the greatest basketball player the world has ever known.
Whatever the origins, the demand for the Colnago hat hasn’t wavered since White Men Can’t Jump debuted in theaters back in 1992. There are multiple posts on Reddit where people, presumably those who’ve recently watched the movie, want to know where they can get one. “You can find fakes on AliExpress for a few bucks. I’ve not liked the quality of the cheap Chinese caps, though,” writes redditor SvooglebinderMogul. You can also find a few knockoffs on eBay since the Italian bicycle manufacturer no longer offers that specific design.
Alternatively, Italian cycling brand Prendas recently came out with their homage to the Colnago cap — though it obviously says Prendas instead of Colnago and doesn’t have the iconic clubs symbol on the sides.
Which only goes to prove — just like most movie remakes, it’s nearly impossible to capture the greatness of the original.