To open a conversation on modern hat makers, along with such greats like Philip Treacy and Stephen Jones, I feel it is only right to include Justin Smith. After graduating from the Royal College of Art and the release of his first collection Under the moniker J Smith Esquire in 2008, he has been consistent in taking classic techniques and elevating the hat to a most sharp headpiece.
When I learned of him, I immediately connected with his style. I also admire his constraint and ability to get an idea across as simply and cleanly as possible. It takes talent to forgo the extraneous and still be lavish.
He now has a permanent slot on my radar and should on yours.
Featured image hats from l to r : Mr. Black (wool felt, petersham trim), Gtoham City Tiara (knitted silver wire, gold wire pigeon wings, Swarovski beads), Nappa Mini Beret (goat nappa, removable stalk on hat pin, commissioned silk lining)