Fashion

The Interview with the Hat Artisian + BM Franklin Co.

I had the pleasure of meeting Brandon, founder of BM Franklin and Co., on my trip to New York City this past January and got to learn all about the art of hat making, a craft that is very rare in the 20th century but very alive in the 1920’s. Brandon created a custom piece for me to add to my collection that I like to describe as a classy pirate. Sounds like me right? Check out my new fashion accessory and learn all about Brandon and his profession in this interview post!

ME: 
How did you get interested in the art of hat making?

BRANDON:
I became interested in hat-making after leaving Ralph Lauren and meeting the owner of one of the oldest hatshops in NYC.
I started working in the shop showroom/mainly front of house.  Ive always been interested in how things are made, especially in regards to fashion at that time.  A lot of design work nowadays doesnt require the knowledge or skills used to make something by hand.  I had this obsession and curiosity to make something of great quality on my own so I got even more involved and in depth with the process at work.  Before I knew it I was in the shop most of my time and our interns were in my office and the showroom.
The rich history of the craft also drew me in and continues to.  I love using techniques and tools hatmakers of the past (150+ years) were using.

ME:
Where did you go to school and what did you study in your degree?

BRANDON:
I went to school in Miami and studied marketing.  Although this was a great experience I have to lend the majority of my education to life experiences and the businesses/corporations I worked for before deciding to take the leap and start my own brand.

ME:
Who is your biggest inspiration?

BRANDON:
My biggest inspiration is every craftsman, young and old that have dedicated their lives and livelihood to their craft.  The ones who’ve taken the risk of possibly not earning the money, fame and glam that most of us equate with success.  These people are not only my inspiration but my community.

ME:
How has living in New York helped you in your craft? (obtaining supplies, more opportunity for exposure, etc.)

BRANDON:
Living in New York has definitely helped with our craft and business by allowing us to obtain some of our supplies and materials instantly.  I believe NYC has the largest and most diverse garment district in the country despite a little bit of it disappearing everyday to real-estate and other corporate businesses.
The city also has a huge influence on my creativity and motivation.  We have the most diverse and dense population in the country.  The beautiful mix of history and progression inspire me in so many different ways.  It motivates me to work extremely hard because thats seemingly the collective atmosphere.  It also inspires me creatively on so may levels which can be tough if your too focused on business.  This is the fine line that needs constant attention and balance when it comes to starting a business in the city let alone a creative one.

ME:
What is your favorite Quote?

BRANDON:
I’d have to say my favorite quote right now is “He who works with his hands and his head and his heart is an artist”- Francis of Assisi.

BRANDON AT WORK

 

 

Want your very own custom hat created by an authentic hat craftsman?

Click on over to BM FRANKLIN CO.‘s website and reach out to Brandon. He will get your head shape and ask specific quesitons on your style to craft the perfect piece for your collection!

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