In Focus: Failsworth Hats
Monday, 23rd Sep 2013
We are pleased to introduce a new and on-going project with established British headwear manufacturers, Failsworth Hats.
Exploring both the company's extensive archive and expertise, we have recreated a series of authentic styles personalised with Fred Perry details.
Failsworth Hats was founded in Failsworth (north Manchester) in 1903. The regions links to hat making stretch right back to the 15th century, when local farmers would craft hats to supplement their income; the onset of the Industrial Revolution during the 18th and 19th centuries saw this small cottage industry in the north-west of England grow to be the global centre of hat production. And to this day the company manage the design and production from their Failsworth base.
‘back in the day(1920s) you wouldn’t walk down the street without a hat on for fear of being the odd one out, a man never left the house without a hat, regardless of his class’ Eric, Manchester
There was a period of time that hats were viewed as essential, like a pair of shoes or a coat, it wasn't until late 1950s when people started taking a much more casual approach to dress that the popularity of headwear began to dwindle. Hats were dropped by the mainstream and became statement style for the minority.
The Pork Pie aptly named so due to its resemblance to a Pork Pie dish, was originally designed as military hat and became popular amongst jazz and blues musicians of the 1930s, 40 and 50s. It first exploded onto the UK streetwear scene in the 1960s courtesy of sharply dressed Jamaican Rudeboys, who would finish their slim suits and loafers off with a Pork Pie. This look was a significant influence at the time, and the hat grew to be synonymous with the British ska revival scene. The iconic 2Tone records emblem famously featured the 'Walt Jasco' figure dancing (skanking) whilst donning a Pork Pie.
The narrow brimmed Trilby with its distinguished tilt to the front is perhaps one of the most iconic hat shapes of the last century. Named after the of George de Maurier’s novel ‘Trilby’ where it first appeared, it was glamorised and promoted by the stars of Hollywood throughout the 1920s,30s and 40s, revered by actors and musicians alike, from Humphrey Bogart to Sammy Davies Jnr. Alongside the Pork Pie, the shape was popular with mid 60’s, R&B loving London mods, who would team the hat with sharp suits and slim fit Perry shirts.
This season’s hats produced in winter twill fabrics according to a 1930s archive styles have been finished with a diamond print lining in port and white. A top finishing touch to keep any outfit looking sharp.