Oh, hat’s the way, uh-huh, uh-huh, we like it ...


Oh, hat’s the way, uh-huh, uh-huh, we like it ...

Simon + Mary’s new Military Fez range blows them away at the Sanlam Handmade Contemporary Fair

Andrea Nagel

At the Handmade Contemporary Fair last weekend on the rooftop of Hyde Park Corner, one of the busiest stands, as it is every year, was Simon + Mary. There was a hat suitable for everyone from in a range of styles from bowlers to fedoras to fezzes and more.
Ever since Dean Pozniak launched his range of felt hats in 2014, they’ve adorned the heads of savvy South Africans including stylist Trevor Stuurman and fashion collective The Sartists – Kabelo Kungwane and Wanda Lephoto.
Simon + Mary hats date back to 1935 when Pozniak’s father, Mordechai, brought his cap factory from Poland to Johannesburg. He and his wife, Leah (whom he affectionately called Mary), grew the business into the largest wool felt hat factory in SA.
When hats became less fashionable Simon’s grandson, Dean, made it his mission to revive hat wearing. Each season Dean launches a new range: this summer it is Military Fez. The range is in a variety of colours and comes sized S to XL. All hats are made in Johannesburg. Says Pozniak: “The style was first used in a runway show with Chulaap by Chu Suwannapha a couple of years ago and after many requests we decided to bring the style to retail.”
The lookbook was photographed by Justice Mukheli, who had the following to say about the campaign:
“Collaborating with Simon + Mary was so effortless and almost unreal. From the day they called me to tell me they would love for me to photograph the Military Fez Campaign, the intention was for me to bring my own vision. It sounded too good to be true, because brands as big would never let just one person have control of the vision. I have always been a friend of the brand Simon + Mary, from the days when it was not so well known by the cool and now, as big as it is, I am still very much part of the family. The shoot was special, we spent the whole day in my studio just letting the process of creating unfold naturally. I wish more brands could work like this.”
The Military Fez range is currently in store at Deer Design in Rosebank and online and can also be found at The Space nationwide.
The 2018 Handmade Contemporary Fair by numbers 16,000: The number of paperclips in Tsholohelo Kgwabyape’s astounding farmhouse installation, which greeted guests at the fair’s entrance. It took eight days to make.
220: the number of tasty dishes sold by new exhibitor Chef Nti.
122: the number of artisans at the fair this year.
50: The number of first-time exhibitors.
250: the number of buildings hand-illustrated by Michael Chandler in his astonishing cityscape.
800: the number of pieces of cardboard it took to build Geraldine Fenn’s incredible stand, Tinsel Gallery, which recreated famed artworks out of the humble material, walking away with this year’s prize for best stand.

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