Besides the practical, everyday must-have clothing items, such as a sturdy leather jacket and a traditional trench coat, we shouldn’t forget about the more creative classics. With their long, fascinating history, exquisite style and symbolic meanings, hats and chapeaus are essentials in a man’s wardrobe – and to gather inspiration, we visited the most creative established and emerging hat designers from Italy and Sweden to Japan and Paris.
Praised by Vogue, Mr. Porter and Harper’s Bazaar, the emerging hat designer Nick Fouquet has already made a big impression on the high-end accessory market with his creations. In his introductory designer interview, Fouquet shares his greatest inspirations, which he both gathers from his own life experiences as well as from other, bohemian travel stories. His creations perfectly reflect that mix of boho and luxurious: his collections always have a very unique, interesting color palette and exquisite detailing with very classy, traditional elements as well. If you are looking for creative details like fabric pockets, bullet holes and beads mixed with sustainable fabrics and timeless designs, you will fall in love with Nick Fouquet’s collections.
Horisaki Design & Handel
Without a doubt, one of the most creative and unique brands out there at the moment is the unprecedented collaboration between the Swedish designer and the Japanese hatmaker, known as Horisaki design & Handel. Every piece they create channels traditional, classic fashion with an avant-garde edge. The inspiration for the designs come from nature: while the hats are made from rabbit felt and to make every piece special, the hats are burnt before the finishing touches. With this technique, they get a new, different texture and a slightly different shape and color. Needless to say, the Horisaki design & Handel hats have been extremely popular the past few years and have been picked up by retailers such as Farfetch.
James Lock & Co.
We could never leave out the oldest hat shop in the world from our list. James Lock & Co.’s origin goes all the way back to the 1670’s when the hat shop was first established. Since then, the brand stayed true to their aesthetic of functional, traditional design, but in the past decades, the brand also started experimenting with contemporary styles. Besides the classic men’s and women’s lines, they also feature a couture collection, which can range all the way up to £2,000. Their famous boutique is located in London, where you can also book an appointment for a personal fitting. Instead of smaller, seasonal collection, Lock & Co. has a large variety of hats, ranging from Fedoras and more playful designs to artistic haute couture hats.
Another French designer’s, Anthony Peto’s journey towards fashion and hat making began in 1992, and while different collections changed with the time, the company’s workshop and the inspiration remained in the French center of fashion, Paris. The luxury brand believes in creating something that shows the practical side of fashion as well instead of only representing the haute couture world of the industry. Over the decades, every single hat designed by Anthony Peto was created handmade by artists, in the Anthony Peto Paris workshop, but the designs are available worldwide, in various other stockists as well. If you would like to experience a truly unique fashion experience, the designers encourage you about special orders…”we can make any kind of hat from any material”. Besides the amazing styles, they also ensure that every hat fits perfectly.
From France and the United Kingdom all the way to Italy, Borsalino is another well-established brand that has been creating unique hats since 1857. The Italian brand was never a stranger to contemporary designs, interesting shapes, and colors, but for the classy hat collectors, they also feature a range of Rabbit Fur hats. The brand is also known for their collaborations with other artists and designers – recently, they teamed up with Nick Fouquet, who created a range of pastel and salmon colored designs, adding a youthful flare to the other collections of Borsalino.