The HAT Magazine was created in 1999 by Carole & Nigel Denford following 17 years as niche retailers, owning six specialist hat shops that sold both men’s and woman’s styles. Their most famous shop was The Hat Shop in Covent Garden, where their new vision for ‘the hat’ was to expand its market, by offering a selection across all prices, qualities and styles from simple basic models to super fine felts and Panamas and new innovative designers. Many international brands were first available at their shops in London, such as Marzi and Grevi from Italy, Kokin from New York, Fred Bare, and many more. They had a unique selection and a personal style that attracted every kind of customer, including international clients from Japan, America and across Europe, all seeking out that ‘special brand’, classic style or well-priced hat to buy.
Then at the end of the 1990s, with UK rents spiralling out of control, it forced closure on many of London’s small specialist shops. So, using their vast knowledge and interest of hats and its production, they created a specialist magazine called ‘The HAT’, satisfying a need for hat buyers, retailers, designers, hatters, milliners and enthusiasts. From the beginning Carole & Nigel realised that specialised headwear was created around the globe, and so with the assistance of their daughter Alice, visited and wrote about countries and cities that specialised for the work within the hat industry.
The HAT Magazine continues to visit and report on many international trade shows, inviting designers to undertake the Workroom Sketchbook and the Workroom Process, to improve our skills and expertise. Whilst covering international news and events, festivals and anniversaries. In fact, since its launch this niche publication has become ‘The Voice of the Trade’ and an essential read for everyone within the industry, no-matter where.