Look familiar? This wonderful deep brown velvet chapeau featured in the Northern Echo (Darlington, Durham) on Friday July 20, 1962. It was designed by milliner Rudolf who created hats for London couturier Jo Mattli. The newspaper article referred to it as a Ranger’s hat, while Rudolf called it ‘Be Prepared’.
In 1982 I asked Vivienne Westwood who was responsible for making the fabulous felt Buffalo hats that featured in her Autumn/Winter Nostalgia of Mud collection and now so stylishly worn by Mr Pharrell Williams. “Someone in Luton makes them. They call them the ‘Chicken George’ at the factory,” she replied, referring to the character in the popular TV mini-series Roots, based on Arthur Haley’s 1976 novel. “That’s great because it means something to them. It’s not just ethnic”.
Mr Williams recently auctioned his hat for charity, raising just over $44,000.