Che Guevara made history as a Cuban socialist revolutionary. His image became famous all over the world, as did his beret. While he was often pictured without his hat as well, the image with the accessory, having been the one to take over after his murder, is largely the image of him that has been ingrained in the public’s mind.
Here are 5 intriguing facts about Che Guevara’s revolutionary beret:
- In his most famous photograph, Che Guevara is pictured wearing his beret, detailed with a metal star at the center.
- After Che Guevara, the beret became a symbol for many different revolutions.
- The beret is said to have originated in Greece.
- Mercedes-Benz once used Che Guevara’s image on a campaign, switching out the star in his beret for their logo.
- The image of Che Guevara in his beret can be found stamped in every kind of clothing apparel and home decoration to this day
The beret has not lost its significance even today. Keep on reading to find out how Che Guevara’s beret seems to have given meaning to an iconic fashion accessory.
1. In his most famous photograph, Che Guevara is pictured wearing his beret, detailed with a metal star at the center
Che Guevara’s most well-known and disseminated photograph shows him wearing his beret with the metal star. The picture was famously taken on March 5th, 1960, by Alberto Korda. Though the photo, called Heroic Guerrilla, came to be incredibly well-known, it was only released for the first time after Che Guevara was killed. It was specifically released as the new cover of the revolutionary’s book Guerrilla Warfare. The tumultuous moment in history heightened the impact of the photo and likely gave even more flame to its fire.
2. After Che Guevara, the beret became a symbol for many different revolutions
Che Guevara may be considered by many as the first revolutionary to popularize the beret in his cause. While the beret existed as a style before he included it in his wardrobe, he is likely the reason why it continued to thrive as a style before and after his murder. The beret came to become the symbol for many other revolutions, including being part of the Black Panthers uniform when it was founded around 1966.
3. The beret is said to have originated in Greece
Beyond the revolutionary, symbolic meaning of the beret, many associate the style with the French. It has always been an accessory closely associated with French fashion, where it is thought by many to have originated. In actuality, the style is said to have originated in Greece. A floppy wool or felt style, it wasn’t given the name of the beret just yet, but it is believed to have been the first of its kind.
4. Mercedes-Benz once used Che Guevara’s image on a campaign, switching out the star in his beret for their logo
In 2012, the Mercedes-Benz brand became the target for heightened criticism, as they decided to use Che Guevara’s iconic image with his beret for a marketing campaign. More specifically, Benz photoshopped the original image, replacing the metal star in the center of the revolutionary’s beret with their own logo. The campaign did not go over well, and the brand quickly became the target for criticism. Disapproval came from conservatives that supported the car company and Cuban activists alike, who thought the use of Che Guevara’s image in a campaign for a luxury car brand was inappropriate in more ways than one.
5. The image of Che Guevara in his beret can be found stamped in every kind of clothing apparel and home decoration to this day
Many iconic images find this to be their fate – to be stamped on every kind of clothing piece, wall-art, and home item. This is perhaps most true for the photo of Che Guevara in his beret. Wildly popular in t-shirts and in college campuses all over the world, the image has been immortalized in more ways than Che Guevara could ever have imagined.