Eugenia Kim Hats and the Hemingway influence

Nylon Guys coverNylon Guys page with Eugenia Kim hatI knew that the new Spring/Summer 2012 line of men’s hats by noted NYC hat designer Eugenia Kim  was great to look at with stingy brim lids in laid-back hues made from cool, natural materials like toyo and raffia. After all, they were created exclusively for HartfordYork.com, and the Mr. Kim line has been selling fast.

What I didn’t know was there’s an Old Man and the Sea connection. According to a sidebar article in the March 2012 edition of Nylon Guys, Eugenia Kim used the nautical imagery from the novel as the basis of her men’s hat line, Mr. Kim. The natural materials used in making the fedoras were said to be island-related and the color palette (which for instance includes a deep ocean navy with The Blue Jimmy, a cotton driver cap) culled from descriptions written by “Papa” Hemingway.

Think I’ll spend some time in my library tonight. Although with Hemingway, you don’t even need to crack a book for a great short story — remember this one: “For sale. Baby shoes. Never worn.”

Thanks for reading,
Steve Singer
CEO Hartford York

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Straw Hats for Men

Makins Bu Straw Fedora - The Lyceum Hat at HartfordYork.comWe’ve got more five-star customer reviews to share, this time on perfect-for-summer straw hats.

The one pictured here is a Makins fedora called The Lyceum. Made from Japanese Bu straw, you really won’t believe how light this very classy hat is until you put it on your head. The blue with white multi-striped band is, using the word of a satisfied customer “magnificent”, and if you like your hats made in the U.S.A., then you’ll appreciate that this hat was made in New York City.

Joel W. called The Montecristi Pork Pie, a Panama hat by Biltmore, “a great lid.” Since he spends time in southeast Asia, he says it’s important to wear Panama hats “of high quality because of all the heat and humidity.” His assessment of The Montecristi Pork Pie? “This one rocks!”

Another Biltmore straw hat received a five-star review. Customer Enoch B. said he likes the quality of The Ventilated Panama hat, a pinch front fedora with an interesting dimensional brim and cooling open mesh crown. The great look comes in at a great price too. What’s not to like?

Keep those customer reviews coming. Let us know what makes you happy — and we’ll continue doing just that!

Thanks for reading,
Steve Singer
CEO Hartford York

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Men’s Hats and Caps for Spring/Summer 2012

Our new collection of Spring/Summer hats and caps is in — if you haven’t leafed through the eCatalog, why not take a few minutes? You’ll like what you see.

There are the men’s hats by noted NYC hat designer Eugenia Kim (which were created exclusively for Hartford York, by the way) as well as those from Anthony Peto of Paris, including one cap called The Tweedledee.

Another exclusive to Hartford York (and you) is from the Santana by Carlos Santana line of hats. It’s called The Santana Special and I think you’ll enjoy wearing this stingy brim all summer long.

One of my favorites in the new hats this season has got to be the one from Borsalino they call The Mazzini. It’s made from braided abaca, which is leaf stalks from a species of banana tree native to the Phillipines. The weave is open and you’ll see hints of two tones of color throughout. I hope you like it as much as I do.

Linen is a great warm weather material, and there’s a newsboy from JB Stetson in plaid that’s fresh and sings of Spring, as does The Inti Ivy Cap from Robert Graham (a linen/cotton blend driver style cap that’s just too cool for school).

You know I could go on, but I need to get back to the site to ogle hats — I mean, to help customers. Let me know which hat is your new favorite!

Thanks for reading,
Steve Singer
CEO Hartford York

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Beyonce in the Stetson Roxbury

You know I personally choose every hat you see on Hartford York, and that I attend photo shoots for our catalog (which is why I’m posting this from Mexico, by the way!). It’s this hands-on involvement that makes it all the more exciting when a big-name celebrity is featured in a national publication, wearing one of “my” hats.

This time, it’s Beyoncé, the R&B superstar, (who’s also of course an actress and fashion designer as well as being married to Jay-Z, another Grammy-award winning hip-hop artist and fabulously successful entrepreneur). As a matter of fact, Beyoncé’s not only IN the July issue of Essence Magazine, she’s actually written the cover story, Eat, Play, Love where she, in her own words,

shares how a nine-month break and life’s simple pleasures reignited her creativity and renewed her soul.

The unisex hat Beyoncé is wearing in the spread is called The Roxbury. It’s a lightweight straw hat by Stetson, so it’s great for summer and perfect for a little western sass. And what’s good enough for Beyoncé sure is good enough for me. How ’bout you?

Thanks for reading,
Steve Singer
CEO Hartford York

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Published in: on June 9, 2011 at 4:51 pm  Leave a Comment  

Hats, Sunglasses Essential In This Heat Wave

Men's Borsalino Straw Pork Pie Hat - The Baku at HartfordYork.comWell, the American East Coast heatwave is officially in full force. AccuWeather expects that

the oppressive heat gripping the Northeast and mid-Atlantic will hold strong through the middle of the week. While temperatures will come down a bit Thursday into Friday, rising humidity will keep it feeling uncomfortably hot.

If you need to venture outdoors, use common sense and follow top sun safety tips issued by the Environmental Working Group: wear sunscreen; stay out of the sun whenever possible or make shade; wear more clothes rather than less. Here, in addition to shirts, shorts or pants that help shield your skin from the sun’s UV rays, the EWG specifically lists hats and sunglasses (the latter “protect your eyes from UV radiation, a cause of cataracts”) as items you should make sure to wear.

I for one have no problem putting on a hat or cap when leaving the house — I tend to misplace my sunglasses, though, and have been keeping an extra pair in the car just in case. Cataracts are serious, to be sure, but there’s also all that wrinkle-making squinting to be reckoned with.

Thanks for reading,
Steve Singer
CEO Hartford York

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Published in: on July 7, 2010 at 5:17 am  Leave a Comment  

Eco-Friendly Women’s Hat Designer, Helen Kaminski

Women's Helen Kaminski Raffia Sun Hat - The Aida Summer ChapeauThere’s something pretty special about the women’s summer raffia hats from Helen Kaminski: not only are they gorgeous creations, but they’re eco-friendly too.

Helen Kaminski, a women’s hat designer based in Sydney, Australia, is renowned for their hats, sun visors and bags created from raffia. Using traditional handcraft methods in an exclusive workshop facility on the remote island of Madagascar, the raffia is harvested ecologically so that the raffia palm tree is unharmed.

The environment is not the only beneficiary, the local economy also benefits from the successful hatter. In fact, the original Kaminski workshop now employs hundreds of craftspeople trained in unique raffia treatment and crochet methods.

Look great in your summer sun hats, ladies, and do some good at the same time. It’s all do-able in Helen Kaminski!

Thanks for reading,
Steve Singer
CEO Hartford York

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Published in: on June 7, 2010 at 9:18 pm  Leave a Comment  

Hats – Summer Travel Must-Haves

Men's Anthony Peto Panama Hat - The Straw Rocky St. Michele from HartfordYork.comWhat’s the one thing you must bring with you on any summer trip?

In addition to sun block and a bathing suit, your sun visor or a sun hat is a most definite must-have. Summer hats should be on the head (and in tow too) when traveling — as we all know, sun protection is an absolute!

It doesn’t matter if you’re talking a day trip to the beach or a business trip that might take a week out of your life — summer is the season of hats.

Panama hats are the epitome of elegant warm-weather headgear (for both men and women), but other natural fibers like crocheted raffia and cotton make for hats — and caps — that are easy to roll up, pack and travel with.

In fact, if you’re a little bit shy about wearing hats, summer is the best season to experiment with different hat styles, colors and materials. Because so many people are taking sun protection seriously (and rightly so!), you won’t stand out in a crowd in your sun hat (unless you want to, of course) — in fact, you’ll fit right in.

I think my favorite warm-weather wear-anywhere cap right now might be The Hutton, a linen ivy cap from Christys’ London with the attention-grabbing caps from Robert Graham
right up there as well. As for my current best hat? Take a look at The Montecristi Pork Pie hat and tell me you don’t think it’s one of the best Brent Black creations you’ve ever laid eyes on.

Thanks for reading,
Steve Singer
CEO Hartford York

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Published in: on June 4, 2010 at 2:14 pm  Leave a Comment  

The Many Colors of Ivy Caps and Summer Hats

Robert Graham Silk Ivy Cap - The Aristotle at HartfordYork.com
Men have been wearing dark colors for far too long, in my opinion — and still tend to do so. From business suits and formal attire to casual jeans and hoodies, the overall shades range from black to dark blue and grey. Pretty somber stuff and as far from a Tommy Bahama style as you could ever fear to roam.

Men's Mr. Green Hats Summertime Fedora - The Kent Hat at HartfordYork.comThe easiest way to start to lighten up your wardrobe is with a cap or hat — it doesn’t have to be as colorful as The Aristotle, a Robert Graham ivy cap, pictured at top. You could start with a fairly sedate summer fedora in brown, such as The Kent, shown here at right. Designed by Mr. Green Hats, the fedora is given a color pop with a very tasty hat band in shades of matching brown with mint.

Men's Christys' Crown Straw Fedora - The Akon Summer Hat at HartfordYork.comChristys’ Crown takes a similar approach in dressing up an otherwise calm straw hat with a vividly striped turquoise and black hat band in their fedora, The Akon.
Men's Borsalino Linen Rex - The Nuncio Walking Hat at HartfordYork.comOnce you’ve mastered the little flashes of color, it’s time to move on to the truly vibrant caps and hats, like The Nuncio, a linen rex from none other than Borsalino.

Thanks for reading,
Steve Singer
CEO Hartford York

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Published in: on June 2, 2010 at 2:22 pm  Leave a Comment  

Men’s Hats in War Against Rising Skin Cancer Deaths

Men's Borsalino Handwoven Straw Panama Hat - The Panama Fino at HartfordYork.comDoes this sound like you?

Too often men leave it up to their partners or mothers to remind them to use sunscreen or cover up with a shirt and hat and even to visit the doctor about a worrying mole.

Well, I’ve certainly been guilty of rolling my eyes, but when I read the Medical News Today report (Men’s Skin Cancer Deaths Double In Last 30 Years) based on Cancer Research UK figures, I focused pretty fast.

It seems that “the rates of men dying from malignant melanoma – the deadliest form of skin cancer – have doubled in the last 30 years.”

What’s so shocking about this statistic is that melanoma is a largely preventable disease: sunscreen, hats and shirts being pretty sensible choices, considering the alternative.

I think I might just start selling sunscreen on my site, along with men’s hats and summer shirts. Sort of a public health service.

Cover up, men. Here’s to your good health!

Thanks for reading,
Steve Singer
CEO Hartford York

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Published in: on May 31, 2010 at 2:38 pm  Leave a Comment  

Heads In Fedoras

Mr. Green Fedora - The KentFedoras are the hat of choice this summer, if celebrity trends are anything to go by. Hugh Jackman and his son were spotted wearing the classic style as were Jeremy Piven, Robert Downey Jr., Benji Madden among others.

Even in summer, these young men still tend to wear darker colors (only Jack Osborne had a natural straw), but the majority tend to make a further style statement with funky hat bands.

Hollywood heads in fedoras aren’t only men either: Miley Cyrus, Jessica Alba, and Kylie Minogue were also shown in the must-have headwear recently.

What was nice about seeing all these stars in hats was how natural they looked. Sun protection, style and attention-getting is a pretty potent package: what’s not to like?

Thanks for reading,
Steve Singer
Head Fedora and CEO Hartford York

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