W&E Today provides retailers and manufacturers with education and ideas that provoke innovation in the Western and English markets.
Issue link: http://wetoday.epubxp.com/i/156105
AMERICAN HAT CO. ATWOOD HAT CO. "I think that [the market] is broader than ever," adds Jimmy Pryor, president of Houston-based sunbody hats. "I think part of that is climate change and people seeing hotter temperatures so that they're more comfortable with the idea of a straw hat or a palm leaf hat in wintertime." Tat's not just in sunny states in the Southwest, either. "We have some strong buyers in Idaho that buy throughout the winter and sell them throughout the winter," Pryor says. "We even have a Canadian customer that sells in the winter, too." Andres Sarasti, national sales manager for Bullhide Hats from Pembroke Pines, Florida-based montecarlo hats says that straw hats are very strong — even in Europe. "It [the market] is defnitely growing," Sarasti says. Tey aren't alone. Bowie, Texas-based american hat co. reports that its straw business is up 44 percent year-over-year. dallas hats inc. owner Eddie Morales says his straw business grows every year. Other manufacturers report similar increases in sales. And consider Frankston, Texas-based atwood hat co.'s dilemma. "I made the mistake of taking too many styles to Denver for the January WESA Market," company president Dick Atwood says, "because I expected half to fy and half to fail. None of them failed. And I've been behind ever since, because we sold more hats than I expected to sell." Part of the rapid increase in straw sales could be related to skin- DALLAS HATS OUTBACK TRADING CO. cancer awareness, manufacturers say. Another factor could be higher temperatures, or it might be price-related. "You're looking at a fur/felt hat price point that starts at about $200, or you can buy a straw hat at considerably less," Redding says. "If you're just buying a hat and you're on a budget, a straw hat fts that category pretty well, especially in the South." On the other hand, Paula Calvert, vice president/design and marketing for Bollman Hat Co., which makes Bailey Hats, says, "For Bailey, people are wanting more expensive headwear, rather than more disposable hats." What's selling, and who's buying? "All age groups," says Bessie Good of Oxford, Pennsylvaniabased outback trading co. "Te younger customer buys a hat to wear to a concert, to the county fair, to the beach and just because it is fun and trendy. Ten you have customers who buy a hat to wear in the garden, on the boat, on the fshing trip and riding on the tractor for good sun protection." American Hat Co. president Keith Mundee says that the young rodeo/bull rider, who is a trendsetter, is wearing a taller crown and wider brim. "Te team roper, tie-down roper, reiner, cutter who has adopted some of the new styles from the trendsetters — we call this group the 'trend adopters.' Ten we have the tried-and-true customer who has been wearing his traditional hat in a traditional shape, and he is going to continue buying the hats he bought 15 years ago," Mundee says. American Hat Company 1.) Style number 7300. With a cattleman's crown, this vented Shantung hat is featured in tan with a 4¼-inch brim and KM shape; plus, it's accented with a dual-cord ribbon trim. 2.) Style number 5040. This ivory patchwork hat has a cattleman's crown, a 4-inch brim with a JB shape and is embellished with a dual-cord black ribbon trim. Dallas Hats 1.) CAT CV: Made of vented Jute fber, this cattleman's-style straw hat has a 3¾-inch brim and a 4-inch crown, and is accessorized with a leather hatband embellished with silver detailing and a buckle. 2.) CR 29: This Jute fber Western straw, with a 3¾-inch brim and a vented 4-inch crown, is accented with an embroidered leather hatband and matching embroidery on the brim. Atwood Hat Company 1.) Volley Robinson: From Atwood's Sale Barn Collection, this hat has a new, better-ftting low crown and a 4-inch brim shaped with a 5-inch front. 2.) Pendleton Open: This hat has a comfortable, medium oval open crown that's 5¾ inches, and is available in three brim widths — 4¼ inches, 4½ inches or 5 inches. Outback Trading Company 1.) Sassafras: Style number 15116. This ultra-trendy hat is made from rafa straw, giving it an edgy look with a beaded hatband. It also ofers UPF protection, has a built-in Dry-Zone sweatband, and comes with a 4-inch crown and a 3¼-inch brim. 2.) Free Water: Style number 15090. This rafa straw hat has a 3½-inch brim, with a 4½-inch crown; plus, it ofers UPF protection and has a built-in Dry-Zone sweatband. The underbrim has an intricate embroidery pattern that comes in blue, brown, orange or lavender. FALL 2013 Western & English Today 51