Rihanna often performs wearing a New Era cap

Sports brand New Era may have started out in the bleachers, but it has become part of the street uniform

Streetwear is all about staying ahead of the curve. Which is apt, seeing as the latest must-have is a baseball cap.

US sportswear giant New Era makes baseball caps that are instantly identifiable: the wide, flat brim; the deep fronts with the team insignias stitched carefully on. These caps are as American as hotdogs and bald eagles, apple pie and Don Draper. Rapper Jay-Z has several, but his favourite remains the 59Fifty New York Yankees style, a classic navy cap that he wears whether he's on stage or taking in a game. Robert Pattinson, Justin Bieber, Rihanna and Kim Kardashian, meanwhile, all favour the "snapback" style – an oversized and foamy number, complete with stiff brims that should never be bent or curved: the trick is to perch your New Era just so, rather than fitting it perfectly.

"The authentic silhouette, the 59Fifty cap, reaches an audience beyond baseball fans," says Paul Gils, vice-president of EMEA, New Era's parent company. "Customers can choose from thousands of styles, designs and colours of Yankees hats alone. The art of customisation has also resulted in New Era caps featuring on the fashion runways in New York, London and Paris."

Last month, the brand was main sponsor of the NFL game at Wembley, where one of its pop-up shops was overrun with fans of its caps, team scarves and hats. British attendees might not have understood the rules of the game, but it's clear that the New Era look translates perfectly to UK street cred.