we headed to Pennsylvania to visit the factory of Bailey Hat Company, America’s oldest hatmaker. we collaborated with its Bailey of Hollywood division to design the company’s first-ever felt hat style just for women.
Founded in 1922 by George S. Bailey in Los Angeles, Bailey got its start during the golden age of cinema. The company began by outfitting California ranchers and businessmen, but its dedication to craftsmanship and simple style quickly caught the attention of Hollywood actors like Humphrey Bogart and Cary Grant, who wore them on the silver screen. (The company still has letters from the actors thanking Mr. Bailey.)
Each hat is handcrafted from start to finish in the company’s Pennsylvania factory, following a process that takes days. The hats go through an extensive felting process using sheared wool from Texas, then get dyed, dried and finally blocked and trimmed. The factory uses its own finish called Lite Felt, which makes the hats water-repellent and extremely tough (so they’re easier to travel with and can handle a few knocks).
Photography by Shawn Brackbill.
To see how our friend and blogger Nadia Sarwar wears our Bailey for J.Crew hat, click here
To shop our Bailey® for J.Crew felt hat, click here