Despite the storms and the recession the Magic Show was a big success. There were so many shows going on simultaneously that the thought of getting cloned seemed attractive.

What was most enlightening (and exciting) was the enthusiasm for hats by young people at the Project Show at the Sands Convention Center. Many of the salespeople and retailers had on knit caps (it was 105 degrees), stingy brimmed fedoras and pork-pies. I have not seen that many people wearing fashionable hats in years. When asked about hat wearing, they all seemed to think hats were a form of wearable art (this is great news in case you were wondering).

If you were around during the late 60’s and 70’s you will remember that caps and hats were a major fashion statement. And today that same peace, love and rock- and- roll sentiment is center stage. We saw a recreation of Beatlemania (John Lennon’s ghost) and Peter Max-like prints. I guess you could say that, “What is old is new again.”

We had an interesting conversation with James Rembert, owner of a Jersey City boutique called Rays & Robots. Rembert (who is young) is vehemently opposed to corporate induced fashion trends and prides himself on items that are “dope” (this means good). He only carries independent brands and spices things up with art exhibits and music sessions. Their motto – that is spread throughout the store – is “Fashion Sucks.” According to Rembert the key operative here is Authenticity and Newness.

We have lots more Magic News to come. Our 2009 Hat Life Book will have an in-depth look at Magic and the people who make it great. We also have photos from market week in Las Vegas.

JAMES REMBERT owner of Rays & Robots in Jersey City