About Blakesby Hats
Blake 'Blakesby' Canham-Bennett is a South Australian-based, multi-awarding winning hatter and one of few in Australia reviving the traditional artform of men's hat making.
Since he was young, Blakesby has been interested in vintage and classic style, with a particular focus on hats.
In his late teens he discovered hat making in the form of millinery (women's hats, often racewear/bridal).
Though his passion ignited, he quickly discovered a lack of interest in millinery, and decided to retrain focusing on traditionally crafted men's hats.
This has been a difficult journey as there is no formal training or local knowledge within Australia.
Through studying original texts, networking with hatters abroad, and an informative American tour, Blakesby abandoned his millinery teachings in favour of techniques used by traditional hatters.
Blakesby's hats have seen Australia, United States, England, New Zealand, South Africa, Switzerland, and even Siberia.
Blakesby currently has stock in both Adelaide (A Rare Notion, Adelaide CBD; Hades Hula House, Semaphore) and Sydney (Baxter & Black, Newtown).
It's important to have a clear source of inspiration. Very few things about the traditional process have changed, and there is very little need to change. Hat tools manufactured today are identical to those made 100 years ago.
We draw our inspiration from multiple sources, mainly from aesthetic towards 100 years ago.
Rugged wide brim westerns with curled brims, romantic Spanish sombrero cordobés with exotic trims, adventurous turn of the century explorers and soldiers in their campaign hats, or fine French fedoras and homburgs illustrated in Gazette du Bon Ton.
Our inspirations are clear, but don't feel that our hats can only be worn with a vintage suit. We understand that's not everyone's cup of tea.
A good hat looks just as good with denim jeans as it does with a three-piece suit.