There is nothing as exciting as a deep dive into the newest obsession of the Perpetually Online, because the Perpetually Online can never enjoy something a normal amount. Each new fixation becomes cult-like in its influence, obscure and all-encompassing, leading the curious down a rabbit-hole of micro cultures and media.
Elara Pictures is not a household name, but it is hardly the property of keyboard warriors, either. It is their infamous baseball cap we’re after today, but to understand the cultural significance of this hat, we must first take a look at the production company that is responsible for its enduring popularity.
Elara was founded in 2014 by Josh and Benny Safdie, Sebastian Bear-McClard, Oscar Boyson, and Ronald Bronstein. It is best known for producing Uncut Gems (2019) and Good Time (2017), both written and directed by the Safdie brothers. It has gained a cult-following of film enthusiasts online, likely due in part to their affiliation with the distribution company A24.
So, the hat. It is simple, believe it or not, decorated only with a rectangular patch that reads “elara” in all lowercase letters. The first iteration was a navy blue with a red and white patch, evoking the aesthetic of a mechanic or a rec-league bowler. Next came the black hat with the orange patch, and then the green/red colorway, and most recently, the stone gray/green combination.
You will not find the first two online, and the second two are available through resale sites for $400. Sometimes a lower price will pop up, such as $150 or $250, but only when the market is saturated. The stone gray hat dropped on March 23, and resellers have caught on quickly to its value.
Elara lists the hats for $30 a pop, and they sell out in under 5 minutes. At first, the buyers consisted mostly of bloodthirsty filmbros and art hoes, but as more and more celebrities have begun to sport the highly-coveted caps, the Perpetually Online have come out in droves. The only way you’ll have even the slimmest chance at grabbing one is by having Instagram post notifications on for Elara Pictures, because the merch drops are random and discreet. Reddit and other obsession-driven platforms are flooded with people announcing their willingness to pay the big bucks for one of these hats, or to trade other merchandise from brands such as A24 and Online Ceramics, who have produced other Elara-adjacent merchandise.
With more media companies marketing themselves independently from the work they produce, there grows a certain disconnect between the art and the brand. However, hardcore fans will always exist, and always support what they love. The increasingly self-aware branding can only be good for indie productions in the end━as buzz grows around the Elara caps, so does the adoration for the films the company has produced.