On the Brands
Hanna Hats of Donegal
In any hat or cap from Hanna Hats you start feeling completely different. It is just that your outlook changes. We have tested this assumption first on ourselves, and then on all out friends. When you know who, where and of what made your headgear, it uplifts you on a quite different level in ouf faceless world of globalization.
Just peer into the texture of Irish tweed. From a distance, it might seem single-colored but this is not so. In its every square centimeter there are specks of different hues. These are the colors of Irish nature, and this is traditional.
Woolen tweed fabrics for our headwear are woven to order if a number of shops located in Donegal, in the north of Ireland. They are made only from the local sheep wool of the highest quality. Before spinning, the wool is not completely defatted, so it preserves its water-resistant qualities, and holds warmth better.
All colors the yarn is dyed are taken from picturesque, fabulous and yet austere landscapes of Ireland. Our caps and hats are manufactured at a small factory of Hanna Hats in the same county of Donegal. The Hanna Hats company was established in 1924 by John Hanna, the father of the present factory head John Hanna, and initially the company made suit to order. However, after several decades of successful operation, the demand started decreasing. The manufacture of the first hat under the Hanna Hats label too four hours and a half.
Thanks to the rich experience in making clothes to order, the foundation for the tradition of Hanna Hats headgear was laid. To this day, the team attaches a great importance to trying to make every article preserve the warmth of those skillful hands that took part in its creation.
The brand founder John Batterson Stetson was born in New Jersey, in 1830. His father Stephen Stetson was a hatter, and John had used to work in his father's shop until he went West in search of gold in Colorado mountains. While there, the legend goes, he thought of a beaver felt hat with wide brim that could be resistant to inclement weather and practical in the hard life of gold-diggers. When his expedition drew to a close, he agreed to sell his hat to a cowboy friend of his who appreciated the hat's comfort and convenience. Apart from anything else, one could carry water in it. The future manufacture owner got five gold dollars for it.
The brand's history starts in 1865 when John Stetson moved to Philadelphia and launched a small-scale production of quality hats. They started with models popular at the time but soon enough they decided to make the same headgear John created in Colorado mountains of beaver wool. That was how the still famous hat appeared, Boss of the Plains. Although Stetson headgear was always expensive, their popularity grew. For a cowboy, a real Stetson was a good investment for the hat was comfortable and served well for a long time, and city dwellers considered it a sign of prosperity. By the beginning of the 20th century, the Stetson factory in Philadelphia was the largest hat manufacturer in the world. They put out about two million articles a year.
The company went a long way, through the Great Depression of the 1930s, two world wars, and growth pains, but it managed to preserve the main thing, the spirit of American traditions established by brave gold-diggers of the mid-19th century.
The times change, and caps today are more popular than hats but the ones from Stetson are the same, functionally, for they are still comfortable and practical, and they emphasize their owners' statuses.
Stetson cap silhouettes are as recognizable as their cowboy hats'. The ideally checked proportions, neat seams, and sturdy materials are their features. Many brands try to copy their models but no copy, of course, can approach the original.
Stetson today is the large international company that manufactures high-quality headwear and accessories in many countries of the world. Their best cap models are now manufactured in Czechia and Bulgaria for the entire world. They are the ones we present here.
City Sport Caps
The history of the City Sport brand began in 1898, when Victor Declercq, a successful textile merchant from Ardooie in West Flanders, Belgium, decided to create a small caps manufacture. Seven craftsmen from the neighboring city of Diksmuide were invited, and his wife Marie Olivier became the co-founder of the enterprise.
Victor Declercq was a natural-born entrepreneur and respected the gentleman traditions of personal grooming. He was easily recognizable thanks to his luxurious long mustache, which his personal barber took care of daily.
Thanks to decades of honest work, the City Sport brand name has become inextricably linked with the idea that their first-class caps are not just a headwear, but an exclusive and fashionable accessory for demanding gentlemen.
Today, the fourth generation of the Declercq family runs the company. Based on the fruits of the work of his predecessors and contributing to the future, Tom Declercq (current director of the company) continues to be connected with history, family traditions of doing business and creativity. He personally corresponded with Tweed Hat, and each letter showed caring, subtle mind and undisguised love for the work of his family.
Today, City Sport caps can be bought in most of European countries (more than 400 stores work with them), they are represented in the USA and Canada, but the production is still located in Ardooie, a small Belgian town near Bruges. The company takes on the production of caps for other brands, for example, City Sport produces caps for the aristocratic English brand Lock & Co. Hatters and for London-based designer Thomas Farthing.
A few words about the City Sport Caps brand name, which for the modern man may sound a bit off-key. This is due to the fact that at the end of the 19th century, when the brand was created, caps were, first of all, an element of a suburban, sports or hunting suit. And only later, already in the 1910 - 20s, tweed caps confidently entrenched in the everyday wardrobe of the city dweller.
Ye Olde Cappe
The Ye Olde Cappe brand was established specially for the Tweed Hat store. This is our name for the knitwear with history, going back to past ages.
The basic article in our range is the Monmouth cap, the British headgear popular in the 15th — 18th centuries among different social strata, from sailors and soldiers to aristocracy. The Monmouth cap is the ancestor of all modern knitted headwear.
The Ecuadorian company К.Dorfzaun was founded by German emigres who left for South America in 1938, before the World War 2 started. Rudolph Dorfzaun wore straw panamas when he still lived in his old country, being very much impressed by their beauty and quality. After moving to Ecuador, he decided to make his living on them, by launching their production and exporting. In 1944, his nephew Kurt Dorfzaun joined him, and he played the crucial part in the formation and development of the enterprise. He had been the head of the company until recent times.
All over the world, classic straw hats are called "panamas," although they are manufactured not in Panama but in Ecuador exclusively, of the special local palm fiber called "toquilla". The misnomer is used due to the fact that they became widely popular when the Panama Canal was being constructed, in 1904–1914. Many construction engineers wore them, as well as the US President Theodore Roosevelt who visited the grand construction site. His photographs spread all over the world, and his image added significantly to the Ecuadorian straw hats promotion.
The K.Dorfzaun brand is not widely known among customers outside of Ecuador despite the fact that the company is one of the largest manufacturers and exporters of first-grade straw hats in the country. The reason is simple. Most of their hats they make for American and European brands, like Stetson and Resistol, and only the immaculate quality remains of the initial maker, and the stamp "Hand woven in Ecuador".
These days, the priorities for K.Dorfzaun's operations are not only the preservation of handicraft traditions of the past and the superb quality of what they do but their social responsibility for their personnel and the environmental care.
The Czech brand Tonak has a long and complicated history, closely connected with the history of the city of Nový Jičin and the Czech Republic itself.
It begins in 1799, when the hatmaker master Johann Nepomuk Hückel from the city of Fulnek was admitted to the Hatter Guild of the city of Nový Jičin and opened his first workshop there. It became a family enterprise later when his younger brother Augustine joined him. In 1848, under the leadership of Augustine's son named Johann Albert Hückel, it evolved into real manufactory. After studying Western European experience, by 1867, the Hückel family company created the first hat manufacturing facility with steam equipment in the Austro-Hungarian Empire. Since the 1870s, the "Hat Factory of the Sons of Johan Hückel" (Hutfabrik Johann Hückel's Söhne Company) was one of the largest European manufacturers and exporters of hats, with a staff of about 1200 people.
The success of the Hückels inspired the industrialist Anton Peschel to step into hat business himself. By 1871, he built his own hat factory in the suburbs of Nový Jičin, also equipped with steam machines. The production of hats under the brand name Anton Peschel successfully continued after the death of the founder in 1885 under the leadership of his wife Louise, and then sons and descendants until the middle of the 20th century.
The beginning of the 20th century was the period of the pan-European industrial boom (and, of course, the universal wearing of hats). In 1912, the third large hat factory was founded in Nový Jičin. The Austrian company Böhm & Schlesinger has built two large factories in the north-east of the city: one for the production of felt blanks and hats under the Böhm Brothers brand, and the second for the manufacture of hat industrial equipment. Factories successfully worked until 1941, when they were bought by Hückel.
In parallel with three large manufactories, small hat makers worked in the city. This is a continuation of the tradition - after all, in Nový Jičin headdresses were made since the late Middle Ages (the first mention of a professional hatter in the city account book was 1506), and the Hatters Guild was officially registered by the mayor in 1630.
After the end of World War II, Czechoslovakia found itself in the zone of influence of the USSR. By 1945, there were 21 hat-making businesses in Nový Jičin (both large factories and small workshops), and this did not fully comply with the principles of a socialist economy. In addition, a significant portion of company executives were removed after the Nazis were expelled from Czechoslovakia, and serious management difficulties arose. The leadership of the Czechoslovak Republic decided to nationalize and merge all the hat manufacturers of Nový Jičin into the state-owned enterprise TONAK. The name is an abbreviation: TOvárna NA Klobouky, which simply translates from Czech as "Hat factory".
In the second half of the 20th century, hats from the new joint venture continued to be exported to 53 countries around the world, both under the new Tonak brand and under the Hückel brand already known in Europe. Tonak hats were limitedly supplied to the USSR, where they were appreciated for the high quality of felt and the elegance of workmanship.
After the Velvet Revolution and the end of the communist period in the history of the Czech Republic, Tonak was transformed into a joint-stock company and continued the 200-year tradition of hat production in Nový Jičin.
Today, Tonak is one of Europe's largest manufacturers of ready-made hats and high-quality furfelt made from rabbit, goat and beaver fur, mixed in a special ratio. The factory makes hats both under its own brand and for other brands. Chanel and Dior hat collections are made with Tonak felt. The best felt hats for Stetson Europe are made by the Tonak factory.
McNutt of Donegal
McNutt of Donegal is a tiny, family-owned company that has been creating first-class woolen scarves, shawls and plaids for over 60 years in its own small production on the shores of the Atlantic Ocean, in the village of Downings, in the north of Donegal county. Officially, their address looks even more picturesque: The Pier, Downings, Co.Donegal, Ireland.
The McNutt of Donegal, situated literally on the edge of the earth, manages to create scarves of exceptional quality in a non-trivial and neat design. The colours and textures of the wool have absorbed the unique nature of the Irish west coast. Bright shades are combined here with the muted colours of earth and stone, reflected in the interweaving of woolen threads of scarves. They look relevant and appropriate both on the main streets of the largest cities in the world, and amongst nature. With the heart and soul put into it, the articles of clothing are created with a sincere desire to make something that will be bringing joy to the buyer for many years. This completely coincides with the Tweed Hat's worldview, and thus, having met them at an exhibition in Dublin, we immediately realized: McNutt of Donegal should be represented in our store.
Since 1992, William McNutt, the successor of the family business, has been managing production. Using the word "tiny" at the beginning of this text, we did not exaggerate. The whole team consists of 11 people, including William.
The history of the Magee 1866 brand goes back to the Victorian time when John Magee took up trading in Donegal tweed while travelling around the fairs in Donegal County and buying fabrics from local manufacturers. At that time, weavers often combined their fabrics creation with other professional activities, like fishing or farming. By 1871, John had already opened his own drapers shop in Donegal, and 16 years later his young cousin Robert Temple joined him as an apprentice. He impressed John with his skills of trade by successfully selling three caught woodcocks to a hotel owner in Ballybofey.
In 1901, Robert Temple became the Magee shop's co-owner, and nine years later he purchased the business from its founder. He struck deals with weavers who started to make fabrics designed by him, exclusively for Magee. In the World War 1, the demand for Irish wool fabrics skyrocketed for they were ideal for uniforms, being warm, dense, and sturdy. Yet by the end of the war, due to the same high demand, the home weavers' quality of manufacturing decreased. In 1918, Robert Temple decided to establish his own weaving mill in Donegal, on the Eske river, in order to control the quality and all nuances of his production.
After the War of Independence started (1919–1921), there appeared a border between Ireland and Northern Ireland that became a hindrance to the normal trade. Robert Temple realized that there is no way of breaking long-established economic relations, so he opened his warehouse in Belfast, the largest city of Northern Ireland. This allowed him continuing to sell fabrics b oth in Ireland and England.
In 1931, Howard Temple, Robert Temple's son, started working for the company at 17.
In the 19th and the first half of the 20th century, the principal buyers of fabrics were the city dwellers who ordered their clothes from bespoke tailors, and the tailors themselves. After the World War 2, the British Isles saw the massive spreading of the factory-made mass-marketed ready-made clothes. It was easy to explain, for those production facilities that had manufactured uniforms in the years of war converted to making civilian clothes. People stopped ordering their suits, preferring to buy them quickly in stores. In 1945, Magee took the challenge of the changing times, and they launched the prêt-à-porter production in Belfast, creating unusual and bright articles of Donegal tweeds, as opposed to ubiquitous gray suits. In 1960, they launched their own clothes manufacturing in Donegal as well.
In 1961, two world-renown Irish fashion designers, Sybil Connolly and Irene Gilbert, told the whole wide world of the Donegal tweed by including clothes made of it in their ladies' collections. And the very next year, Magee created their green tweed for the uniform of the largest Irish air company Aer Lingus.
In 1974, Howard's son and Robert's grandson Lynn Temple starts working for the company. He is currently the head of Magee of Donegal. Preserving the name of John Magee, the founding father of the company, in the company's name, the Temple family has been running the brand successfully for over 100 years. They have come through the hardest years of the first half of the 20th century, and are continuing their regular and harmonious development. In 2016, Magee of Donegal celebrated their 150th anniversary by opening their flagship store in downtown Dublin.
Today, the brand manufactures a large variety of classic men and women's clothing of the highest quality, made of first-grade natural materials. The Magee Weaving enterprise is also in operation that manufactures and sells tweeds.
Kerry Woollen Mills
The Kerry Woollen Mills factory is located in the West part of Ireland, in the village of Beaufort, Kerry County, and may serve as a wonderful example of the force of traditions, and the link between generations. The official establishment date is 1760 although the first woolen mill appeared here as early as the 17th century.
The factory deals in the complete cycle of the local sheep wool, from carding, spinning and dying the yarn to weaving and knitting the final article.
In 1904, the Eadie family purchased the business, and today it is owned and run by its fourth generation, Robert Eadie and his sons.
Maintaining the tradition and operating in the same location as they did 300 years ago, the masters here create the real living heritage of the Irish culture with their own hands.
Lee Valley Ireland
The history of the Lee Valley Ireland brand started in the 1980s when Denis Hurley thought of sewing flannel shirts in an old style, similar to those worn by his own grandfather. After having designed the cut and selected right materials, he started manufacturing first batches at home, and went around the fair circuit in nearby towns to sell his shirts to both tourists and local farmers.
When he saw the demand for comfortable and beautiful granddad's shirts, he launched the manufacturing facility in 1986, in his native village of Inchigeela, Cork County, by converting the old abandoned dairy. The manufacture is still located in this village. Localizing the production in his native country is the matter of principle for Denis Hurley who runs the company even now.
The company is named after the river Lee that flows throughout the entire Cork County.
At present, the small factory manufactures various clothes in the traditional Irish style but their highlight are still those flannel grandfather's shirts as well as nightshirts and pajamas distributed by Lee Valley all over the world. Those are the articles we have decided to represent in Tweed Hat.
Hatman of Ireland
Hatman of Ireland is a small family business located in the West of Ireland, in Galway County. It was established by Gerry Moran in 2003, in order to manufacture high-quality accessories, headwear, and clothes of authentic local materials.
Before establishing his own brand, Gerry had spent many years working in headgear manufacturing. This is where the name of the company came from. Hatman of Ireland does not attempt to hitch on fashionable trends, by churning out one collection after another. They produce classic objects made of traditional materials, like Donegal tweed, linen, or waxed cotton, that will never become obsolete for they are for all times.
Кузнецов & Якунина
The Kuznetsov & Yakunina leatherworking shop was launched in 2013 in Moscow by Ilya Kuznetsov and Yekaterina Yakunina. The concept was formed from the very beginning. They were not going to chase fads by creating collections one by one. Instead, they were going to make objects for years, the things out of time. They started making knapsacks and accessories of the highest grade materials, according to traditional methods and technologies.
For Ilya and Katya, the inspiration lay in working and military satchels of the first half of the 20th century. Rethinking and adapting historic models for modern urban dwellers, the masters create minimalistic, functional, quality and very beautiful things that would serve for decades.
SOHA is a conceptual brand of household and kitchen utensils created in 2015 by artist Denis Milovanov and producer Alisa Burmistrova. Inspired by the aesthetics of the Russian North's traditional architecture and way of life, their objects may be placed on the border of industrial design and modern art.
The SOHA Concept works have been warmly received by connoisseurs of contemporary object design all over the world, at Paris shows Maison & Objet in 2015 and 2016, as well as the Milan Design Week in 2017.
In our store, there are presented the SOHA Concept's smaller items, the oak serving boards cut with a motor saw and boiled in vegetable oil for three days and nights.
Fisherman out of Ireland
Fisherman out of Ireland is an Irish brand of knitwear from the village of Kilcar, Donegal County. This is a wonderful example of an authentic local production inspired by the local austere nature and coastline traditions. The village population is about 250, and a little over 20 people work there, yet they take orders from all over the world, for 70% of their output are exported.
The Fisherman out of Ireland's articles are at the same time delicate, for the yarn used usually has a large proportion of soft fibers, and durable, for they are created by people who know how to make a real fisherman's knitted sweater usually worn in high seas.
In our range of products there is a traditional Irish knitted hood, a styling headwear for both men and women that can replace both a hat and a scarf.
The Stormy Kromer brand history was launched in 1903 when George Kromer nicknamed "Stormy" asked his wife Ida to make a warm cap for him that a winter wind could not tear off his head. For many years, George was a railroad engineer, and this was an acute problem for him. When an engine moved fast, strong gusts of wind carried his headgear away quite frequently. George also played baseball semi-professionally, so the basis for this cap's cut became a classic baseball cap, but with the visor shortened, to reduce its windage. In order to perform this task, Ida thought of an original construction for earflaps. If necessary, they needed only one flick of a hand to become lowered and provide additional warmth, wind resistance, and protection of inclement weather conditions.
The cap turned out so fortunate that most George's colleagues wanted one for themselves. Ida received many orders. The popularity of a beautiful and convenient cap spread across America, and a number of made caps increased. By 1909, the Kromer family had their own small manufacture, and opened their first store in Kaukauna, Wisconsin. Then, up until 1945, the small company had continued to grow. They moved to larger premises twice, and had up to 30 people employed in the production. By 1955, the demand for railroad industry articles started to decrease, and the Kromers introduced new caps made of waxed cotton that were meant for working people as well, like welders and pipeliners. Their sales went up again.
In 1965, George Kromer transferred the company management to Richard Grossman, due to his age and health problems. After that, the company went into a slow decline, and their production dwindled. In 2001, the information went out that the company Stormy Kromer Mercantile will shut down. A great fan of the brand, the businessman named Bob Jacquart learned about it, and he cared so in a month the production lines were moved from Milwaukee to Ironwood, Michigan, to a textile manufacture owned by Bob. That was the beginning of a new stage in the Stormy Kromer brand's history. The company started developing new models of headwear, clothes, accessories, and bags. At the back of their caps the stitching appeared, with George Kromer's signature and the foundation year, 1903. At present all the manufacturing is still based in Ironwood, so the authenticity and quality of their articles are still very high.
These days, the Stormy Kromer headgear is the comfortable, quality, beautiful and original articles with history that attract both active leisure buffs and city dwellers who wish to wear nice-looking, practical and warm caps.
The preferred materials are traditional and natural ones, like wool, flannel, and waxed cotton. The company is so sure of the quality of their caps that they offer a lifelong warranty for them, applicable only if they are used properly, of course. Every cap has its own unique number that can be registered with the company's official website.
The Stormy Kromer cap design cannot be mixed with anything else for it has become a true American legend.
The Garin brand emerged in Moscow in 2011, and gained its popularity by their high-quality ties and bow ties that were far from being banal.
In later years, their range widened to include their contemporary reimagined versions of classic headwear, like hats, eight-piece caps, and porkpie hats. All their articles are manufactured in small batches in a cozy shop in downtown Moscow, under the personal control of Sergey Malykhin, the founder of the brand.
The Hatfield hat brand appeared in St. Petersburg in 2016. Using quality materials, employing handicraft, and paying special attention to details and nuances, the tem of likeminded people create a quality product proudly wearing the label "Made in Russia". Based on classic forms, Hatfield puts the hat into its contemporary context without losing its connection to the tradition.
Union of Friends
The Union of Friends brand emerged in Kiev in 2016 when two best friends, Vlad and Bogdan, the long-standing aficionados of design and clothes making of quality denim and canvas, decided to go professional.
The source of inspiration for those two masters was the American and European working and hunting clothes of the second half of the 19th century and the first half of the 20th century. They manage harmoniously to combine historic detail and technologies with their own elements of design that look like they were invented 100 years ago and not in our days.
The close attention is paid to materials, including Japanese denim, American canvas, Japanese brass and copper fittings, as well as to the details of trimming, technologies, and quality of seams. All their articles the two friends make with their own hands in their own shop.
The Union of Friends is a member of the unofficial union called the Post-Soviet Denim Camp, together with brands Firmament, Red Hills, and Headges.
Brand Infundibulum is rethinking the traditions of Russian and European men's clothing by adapting them to the modern world, but stays connected to the roots. With his collections, the creator of the brand, designer Ilya Varegin, answers the question - what would men's clothing be today if its evolution went in a different direction in the late 19th and early 20th centuries?
The brand produces two capsule collections per year (fall-winter and spring-summer), all garments are produced in Russia in limited runs from rare fabrics. The size range usually consists of two sizes: M / L and L / XL. Items from the upcoming collection can be pre-ordered made-to-measure.
Since 1968, based in the heart of England, Birmingham, the Oxford Blue company has been specializing in making quality clothing in a traditional English country and hunting style. Preference is given to time-tested classic models and natural materials with long history: waxed cotton, flannel, tweed, corduroy. The factory also makes clothes for other brands under contract. It's very important for Oxford Blue that the prices on their apparel stay moderate. Of course, given the fact that high-quality materials are used, and most of the production is located in England.
Mullingar Pewter is a small Irish manufacturer of pewter drinkware, souvenirs, household items, and interior decorations. The company was founded in 1974 by Paddy Collins, who sought to revive the ancient craft of making pewter utensils. Still based in Mullingar, Co. Westmeath, Ireland, it is now headed by the founder’s son, Peter Collins. Most of Mullingar Pewter’s 16 employees have been with the company for many years and are adept at all the intricacies of pewter casting and finishing.
Pewter utensils have been known in Europe since the 12th century, and Mullingar Pewter has been inspired by antique items in both form (recreating old designs alongside its own original ones) and craftsmanship—but not raw materials. That is because in medieval times, the alloy known as pewter contained lead, while modern pewter is almost entirely (about 90%) tin, with added copper and antimony. This composition of metals is completely safe and does not interreact with food or drink (including strong liquors, which makes it an excellent choice for flasks).
We met Peter Collins at an exhibition in Dublin and, after a bit of deliberation, settled on an order for Tweed Hat that included cast-pewter flasks in various shapes, pint tankards, and chained pocket watches.