Musicians, businessmen, architects, doctors, actors, politicians, tradesmen—the Optimo enthusiasts are not defined by their professions, but by their shared appreciation of quality. Our customers see a hat as something much more than a fashion statement. We are often asked “Aren’t you glad hats are back in fashion?” The truth is that this is not important to us. Our customers are not susceptible to fads and have always worn their hats with style and panache whether they are “in fashion” or not.
“The Windy City” has always been a hat-wearing town, a tradition that continues today. From the early 1900s to the 1960s, classic styles of men’s hats were created during each decade. A classic American style in music and fashion surfaced during the prohibition era and the fascination with the ‘gangsters’ in their rakish fedoras grew. Chicago emerged as a city of style. Hats such as the homburg and fedora attracted considerable interest, and headwear lost its status as a class divider. Some of the best hat-styles emerged from Chicago’s ethnic communities. At that time, legendary hat shops were located all over the city—one of those belonged to Johnny Tyus—the legendary Chicago hatter who trained Graham.
Many hat wearers from this bygone era are our customers today. From our veteran hat-wearers we have learnt about timeless styles that have been admired for decades. From the younger generation we are learning about the more modern designs of today.