Albertus Swanepoel has worked with such fashion luminaries as Diane von Furstenberg, Peter Som, Marc Jacobs, and Alexander Wang, received critically acclaimed press in the pages of Vogue and Harper’s Bazaar, helmed his own label, collaborated with the Gap, and racked up numerous awards and accolades for his work — yet within an industry full of extroverts, he remains one of the more low key personalities. That’s soon to change with the announcement of his latest gig.
The South African-born milliner and fashion designer recently joined forces with iconic American hat manufacturer Stetson (maker of the panama, fedora, and ten-gallon cowboy hats) to launch a collection of seven to ten unique headpieces. Inspired by Stetson’s history, Sherlock Holmes, and the Bauhaus — the German modernist art school — Swanepoel stuck to a classic silhouette, but added whimsical contemporary flourishes — like brightly colored linings — to each piece. The collection, which will be sold in upscale retailers such as Barneys, Bergdorf Goodman and Saks, as well as specialty hat shops, is being produced on a season by season basis and is priced between $180 and $300.
For Stetson CEO Pam Fields, Swanepoel seemed an obvious choice for collaborator. I reached out to Albertus because I thought there was something interesting about a designer of his caliber joining forces with an iconic American brand, she said, speaking to WWD.
Swanepoel, for his part, shares Fields’ enthusiasm. [Its] a great opportunity for me to inject a more modern sensibility into their designs and create more unisex hats that will have a broader appeal, Swanepoel explained. They are the Rolls-Royce of hats to me, in America.
Here, a look at some of our favorite Stetson moments:
King of Cool Humphrey Bogart sporting his trademark fedora
John Travolta rocking the ten-gallon in Urban Cowboy
Harrison Ford as adventure-loving Indiana Jones
Matthew McConaughey getting back to his Texas roots as the face of Stetson
Quarterback Tom Brady relaxes off the field–and looks good doing it
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