Vol.1 Issue 2 May 11, 2005   


Thank you for responding to the first digital newsletter from Hat Life. Many of you seem to be very excited about our new cyberspace venture. We also want to thank those of you who emailed and faxed us information for our second newsletter. KEEP IT COMING.

I want to bring up an important subject for the Headwear Industry. Someone needs to keep track of the volume of sales for the headwear industry. We get calls from the media (and vendors) asking for hat sales numbers, and other than the Headwear Information Bureau, I am not aware of anyone keeping a financial score-card. I invite you, the industry, to come up with some way to quantify the number of hats sold per year and the total sales volume. With hats such a visible and popular commodity (Think Red Hat Society) it’s time to get out the financial ruler. Vicky Gamez from HIB recently told the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review that “millinery sales have increased an estimated 5 percent to 10 percent each year since the mid-1980s, and retail sales of women's hats were estimated at $1.042 billion in 2004.”

How about it folks, do we have an update? Let us know.

By the way, it appears that consumers want to know how to wear hats. Why else would newspapers and magazines be writing so many articles about “how to wear a hat?" Manufacturers, you may want to add a hang tag with wearing instructions, or contact your local newspaper and ask if they want to write a story about how to wear a hat. This is an excellent way to get a reporter to write about your company and your hats.

It is now official: the country is consumed with curiosity about the Red Hat Society. The number of articles about these red-hatted matriarchs continues to proliferate in large numbers. Just this month there were articles about the Red Hat Society in many of the top daily newspapers. This is terrific publicity for the headwear industry, count your blessings!

 We hope to hear from you. Please email us at [email protected] or call 561-208-1168 or 877-HATLIFE

The thought for the day: The late clothing designer Christian Dior reportedly told London's Daily Telegraph that, "without hats, we would have no civilization.”

Kangol headwear is going to be worn in the new Martin Scorsese film, The Departed. The film will be made in NYC and will feature Matt Damon, Mark Wahlberg, Jack Nickelson and Alec Baldwin. We hear they have requested many Bailey and Kangol hats for the film. more++

The Black Hat Society is coming your way. According to the Atlantic City newspaper, The Press, some male retirees in Smithville were looking for a fun bonding experience so they came up with a macho version of a male Red Hat Society called The Black Hats. more++


ARTEX KNITTING MILLS, one of the last of the domestic knitwear and accessory companies in the US, announces that Avi Green, son of founder Bernard Gerbarg, is now working in human resources department. Son, Louis Gerbarg is also on board handling all of their technology needs. more++

Smaller sized Custom Hatters are looking for buying power when it comes to raw materials. We got a call from Jack Scholl in South Dakota, (605-723-2277 [email protected]) about the need for co-op buying for small hat makers. Scholl would like to attend a trade show (or find more sources) with machinery, blocks, ribbon, etc. in smaller quantities. more++


GOING DOTTY: According to “Life Weekend Magazine,” polka dots are the new solid. There are now dotted dishes, handbags, shoes, watches, eletrical equipment, laptop cases and mouse pads. According to the marketing firm Youth Intelligence, “Right now, it’s about visuals that make you happy. Polka dots do that perfectly.” more++

Andee Kinzy, a milliner-filmmaker, recently had a screening of her first film, "WHAT IS IT ABOUT HATS? The film uncaps the secrets and the privileged world of hat wearers. A Documentary about the “People Under the Brim" opened in Chicago at the Beverly Arts Center's "HATS!" exhibit on April 29 (and runs until 5-11) at Center, 2407 West 111th Street, Chicago. more++


The consumer is looking for something different, even theatrical in headwear. Now that the Red Hat Society members are parading around the world in outrageous hats (and the same goes for Camilla Parker Bowles), it’s fair game to wow the customer with something outrageous. more++

If you’re in New York City and want to experience a true New York (“Sex and the City” like) restaurant scene, head over to BLT Steak at 106 East 57th Street. This elegant pricey steakhouse is filled with interesting and attractive people and is housed in a very modern Zen-like space. more++
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