There is hardly any person in the world who has not seen or heard about ushanka. The ushanka hat became somewhat of a symbol of…
There is hardly any person in the world who has not seen or heard about ushanka. The ushanka hat became somewhat of a symbol of Russia. Every Russian is expected to have at least one in his or her wardrobe. When a supposed Russian appears in a Hollywood film there is no surprise he wears exactly that - an ushanka hat.
Ushanka hat is a fur hat with round crown and ear flaps that can be tied on the top of the hat or fastened at the chin. Ushanka is derived from the Russian “ushi” (ears). It is also known as Russian hat, shapka, bomber hat, trooper hat or trapper's hat.
For centuries the fur hat has been keeping heads warm all across the lands formerly known as the Soviet Union. However this particular hat with strings and earflaps is a creation of the 19th century. It was introduced as the part of the uniform for the Russian army as a lot of Russian soldiers had died of cold during the war with Finland. Since 1940 ushanka became an official winter hat for the USSR police.
In the 20th century it reached its popularity: it was initially a male hat, but soon became a popular winter accessory among children and women as it offered great wind and cold protection. Most ushanka hats are made entirely of sheepskin or rabbit fur, but there are also cheaper versions made of artificial fur.
Popularity of ushanka hats with flexible earflaps spread beyond USSR. Similar design is relatively common throughout China, North Korea, Mongolia as well as Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union republics. Today, modern types of ushanka exploded onto the fashion scene: it was a key piece of Vyacheslav Zaitsev’s runway collection and was featured at the Dolce & Gabbana fashion show. Many celebrities are adopting this great head wear trend.