Last year, we were plunged into a sorority of hat lovers and solemnly pledged to incorporate them –as conspicuous as they come– into our wardrobes and style. Now, if you’ve ever asked a hat wearer in Lagos, “Where did you get that?“, the answer would most likely be 1) Somewhere halfway across the world. or 2) Asos.
Then, we find out about Simon and Mary, this really cool hat brand based here in Africa and we’re wondering why they hadn’t popped up before. Anyway, we’ll just throw these perfectly made, gorgeous, bright hued hats at you and hope you get just as enchanted.
Simon and Mary is a family-run hat company in Johannesburg that uses traditional millinery machines from the 1960’s to create a variety of carefully crafted hats that draw inspiration from styles of yesteryear. It’s a heritage brand established in 1935 with roots first planted in South Africa when Simon’s father, Mordechai Pozniak fled from Poland to South Africa, taking along his cap factory. A business that has grown into the largest felt hat manufacturer in Africa boasts a background of over 70 years experience in headwear, passed down the family line through four generations.
Simon and Mary was started as a tribute to my grandparents, built on their history of the finest millinery traditions, family values, craftmanship and creating opportunities that contribute to society.
Born through generations to tell the story of what a simple hat can bring, the brand is inspired by the styles created by Simon in the past and aims to constantly reinvent the hat for the modern hat lover.
Continuing the legacy created by the original milliner, Simon’s grandson Dean, named the brand after his grandfather and grandmother Leah. She was affectionately nicknamed Mary after the main female character in War & Peace, based on a family bond within the hat factory.
Hats are in our blood, it is more than a clothing item, but rather a way of life.
So what’s it going to be… these hats or disaster?