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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34 Western & English Today SUMMER 2014 Hat Resources American Hat Co. (800) 392-4197 americanhat.net Bailey Hats (800) 859-4653 baileyhats.com Dallas Hats (800) 597-9993 dallashats.com HatCo, Inc. (Charlie 1 Horse, Resistol, Stetson, Wrangler) (972) 494-7108 charlie1horsehats.com resistolhat.com stetson.com Henschel Hat Co. (800) USA-HATS, henschelhats.com Greeley Hatworks (888) For-A-Hat, greeleyhatworks.com Milano Hat Co. (Bent Rail, Justin, Larry Mahan) (214) 342-0071 milanohats.com Montecarlo Hat Co. (Montecarlo, Bullhide) (877) 405-6099 montecarlohats.com Outback Trading Co. (610) 932-5141 outbacktrading.com of shape in front. Lower 'open' crowns are in demand as well for those who want to customize their hat themselves or by someone who shapes hats." Adds Greeley's Johnson: "Crowns have remained very similar in height (4¼ to 4½ inches). Styles seem to be more diversifed. Modifcations of the standard cattleman and RCA (brick top) are becoming more acceptable and more fun." Te biggest discrepancy, however, comes at price points. Some manufacturers are seeing business at moderate price points, while others see an upturn in quality and higher priced headwear. "Te best-selling hat across market is that $160 hat," Atwood says, "but my best-selling hat is $225, or $250." Milano's Kinney notes that "economically priced wool hats will continue to grow." Adds Morales: "People are looking for something that's not too expensive. Nowadays people don't want to spend $250, $300 for a hat. Tat market is gone. Under $150 is ideal." But that's not the case at Stetson, Resistol and American. "Quality is always imporant and continues to be," Bolin says. "I see people caring more about quality and value. Our felt market will continue to rise as long as consumers see that for a little bit more money that get a heck of a lot better hat." Ditto at American. "Our focus is on quality," Mundee says. "Our 500X is pure beaver belly and our 1000X is beaver belly and mink. We have seen an encouraging trend towards the better quality hats; our 40X through 1000X sales are way up. Tese customers usually want their names gold embossed inside their hats or a special meaningful date. Our business has been on the rise the last three years so we are excited about where the hat business is headed." And that's something all hatmakers agree on. No matter the price point, brim size, crown or style, business is good. "I see the wide brim sticking around for a while, but I also think there will be a push for new unique shapes, colors and band treatments," Distasio says. "I think everyone is really trying to push the envelope with Western design, and I don't think that's over with yet. I also see maybe a little more old Western fair coming back with distressing, but in a cool, clean way that isn't too gaudy." Because felts are ingrained in our headwear culture. "Felts are always there and will be there is part of the lifestyle of a big population in the world," Sarasti says, "and we will be ready to bring what they are demanding." "Felt hats will always be in style," Fetsch says. "Hats started out as felt, and that's the classic look. Sales lately have increased, especially in the Western design and fedoras — hats are a focal part of the outft, and not just an accessory. Western hats will always be in season, whether it's a leather or straw hat in the spring, or a felt hat in the fall. Western is a style that sells year- round. It has a distinct look and is always a popular selection." "Hats are becoming trendy again," says Outback's Good. "For several years, they'd just been popular with the older crowd, but now the younger generation is getting really excited about hats." As Atwood puts it: "I don't see how business could be any better." Six-time Spur Award-winning novelist Johnny D. Boggs lives in Santa Fe, New Mexico. His website is johnnydboggs.com. OUTBACK TRADING CO. BAILEY HATS 0714 Fall Felt.indd 34 6/19/14 1:47 PM

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