The tradition of local shops making Newsboy Caps for regional patrons is still alive and well in the Mountains of Southern Oregon. The advent of the internet has exponentially increased the size of the "region" we are able to serve, but Hat People is still very much involved in local enterprise and local community. Our studio is in a wing of the former Ashland, Oregon Briscoe School, known as the Briscoe ArtWing. The ArtWing is a creative community of artists and musicians. We maintain an ongoing relationship with the Ashland School District, working with students both at the ArtWing and in the classroom.
I have always been interested in cultural trends, and fashion is high on the list. I was particularly pleased when Brad Pitt started wearing a Newsboy Cap on a daily basis. Between his roles on the silver screen and his community work, Brad Pitt has definite cross cultural recognition (he is one of my favorite actors). His latest charitable project is centered around his hat collection. His plan is to give hats to charitable causes who are then free to auction them to the highest bidder. It is remarkable what the brush of fame can do for the price of a hat. President Jack Kennedy also created quite a stir in the hat world when he wore a top hat to his inauguration. It wasn't so much that everyone went out and bought a top hat, but the fact that he wore a top hat introduced the possibility of wearing hats into the consciousness of millions of people in one brief instant. That is a perfect example of cultural change: where a simple suggestion, in the proper context, alters the view of an entire society.
Hat People has been making hats for over 30 years and we still maintain our commitment to designing hats that are washable in cold water and constructed with natural fibers. Pendleton Wool, Cotton, and Linen are the mainstays of the Hat People line. Pendleton Wool, because it is woven here in the Pacific Northwest, the people who work for Pendleton Woolen Mills are incredibly supportive of our business, and Pendleton Wool rivals the best of woolens made anywhere in the world. Then there are the properties of wool that make it an ideal fabric for Newsboy Caps! It is resistant to soil, fire & water (it's true) and will keep you warm in inclement weather. Hat People lines our wool hats with cotton, another fiber that deserves the spotlight of our attention. If I was to name but two salient features of cotton, they would be, "soft & versatile". Cotton is so soft it commands a place in almost everyone's wardrobe, regardless of the season. Cotton's versatility is unrivaled. Denim, velvet, flannel, cordurouy, jersey, sheeting, chenille, and terry cloth can all be made from cotton. Cotton fabric can be dyed in an infinite variety of rich hues and shades, and it breathes, allowing the body subtle interchange with the surrounding environment. Linen is tough. The strength of flax makes even the lightest fabric able to withstand the rigors of daily use. This quality makes linen a great hat choice when heat is a part of the daily routine.