Western & English Today

SUM 2014

W&E Today provides retailers and manufacturers with education and ideas that provoke innovation in the Western and English markets.

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SUMMER 2014 Western & English Today 31 "Man, if I could outguess these cowboys, I wouldn't be making hats," says Brooks Atwood, hatmaker for Frankston, Texas-based Atwood Hat Co. Wider brims still rule the market. "Our line used to be dominated by 3½-inch and 4-inch brim hats, but now 4¼-inch and 4½-inch brims are commonplace," says Frank Kinney, vice president of sales/ national sales manager for Garland, Texas-based Milano Hat Co. "Larger-brim felts is a growing business. It started as a regional trend, but we have seen it grow across the country and demographic." Same old story. But it's not the same old hat. "Although our wider Western-style brims are still the most popular, our super-short-brim styles (2¼- to 23-inch) sell well," says Outback Trading Co.'s hat merchandiser Bessie Good. "Brown and black are the most popular colors." While black's still in, and so is silverbelly, other colors are becoming popular and even more are being introduced. "We have some really exciting colors to ofer from 6X to 20X," says Kaci Riggs, director of product development for Garland, Texas-based HatCo, which manufactures Stetson, Resistol, Charlie 1 Horse and Wrangler hats. Tose colors include charcoal, walnut and desert tan. But Stetson and company aren't the only hatmakers expanding their color selections. "Colors continue to grow beyond the standards of black, white, buckskin, silverbelly and chocolate," says Trent L. Johnson of Greeley Hatworks, in Greeley, Colo. "We have had a demand It's the same old story in Western felt hats this year: BIGGER brims. But is this trend ever going to change? for more options in earth tones. More olives, browns and bronzes. We also have seen an increase in more primary-type colors. Navy, ivory, red and purple hues have seen a huge increase over 2013." Milano has added natural and granite — "terrifc additions to the line," Kinney says. Bowie, Texas-based American Hat Co. is seeing increased interest in pecan, steel and chocolate colors on felts. "When you notice some of the young trendsetting rodeo stars like Tuf Cooper wearing these colors, it doesn't take long for the general public to pick that up," American Hat Co. president Keith Mundee says. Te trends are being established by younger hat wearers. "Most of that changing trend is with the kids," Atwood says. "Guys my age have been wearing the same kind of hat forever and they don't want to change much." Tat's standard for most manufacturers. Older customers are more conservative and keep going back to the tried-and-true classic STETSON CHARLIE 1 HORSE AMERICAN HAT CO. WRANGLER RESISTOL LARRY MAHAN JUSTIN 0714 Fall Felt.indd 31 6/19/14 1:46 PM

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