I know my collection of over 100 hats might appear a little too much for some people and having grown up with the principle of always styling from the top; I cannot help but choose to invest in a few more options. Please try to imagine my wild spins on my mother’s kitchen floor when I got word that a friend plans to extend his trade and include millenary dealings to his expertise. The friend here is none other than Floyd Avenue of the Smarteez fame. I knew I had to arrange for a link up and have a chinwag about his decision to pursue a fedora traditionally linked to a Jewish religion and his quest to make it trendy. All in 10 questions.
MJ: The Rabbi hat carries such a weighty association why the choice to link it with your brand?
FA: I live to challenge norms and find comfort in areas often regarded as no-go parts. I mean, if a decision was made for this hat to be associated with a religious group, why can’t I do the same and relate it with fashion.
MJ: How did the idea for a rabbi hat even come about?
FA: I’ve always wanted one and the struggle to finding the exact piece and wearing it the way I want to, led me to sourcing a few opportunities. So when I found great hat makers, I thought there might be other people interested too. Thus the trade began
MJ: I have seen on your tumblr that, you have stretched the variety a bit. What’s up with that?
FA: Well, with the need for one type of hat, came desires for the rest. In addition to the traditional Rabbi fedora, we have added a Charlie Chaplin bowler style and two safari hats -one made out of canvas and the other woven with a mesh of reeds.
MJ: A little muted/ minimalistic for you, wouldn’t you say?
FA: I am more than just a one dimensional fashion person. All these other sides of me keep coming out with every new project.
MJ: You are known as the downright hardcore street(y) element of the Smarteez Crew, do you think these hats could be infused in your signature?
FA: Believing in street fashion allows me to dream and plan a little beyond what is set and expected of me. My signature with the Smarteez is very different from when I’m managing my own label and this new addition has its own lifeline too. Hence I am working with a new team to produce hats.
MJ: A new team?
FA: Somewhat. Isaac is a photographer and Slovo is a graphic designer. Even though we’ve known each other for a while, we’ve only recently explored the opportunity to get into business together, merging many of our respective strengths to make this work.
MJ: You seem to be investing in quite a lot of creative ways to put the word out there, if your blog is anything to go by.
FA: Yeah, the plan is to introduce our range of hats to a diverse crowd. It really can be included in almost everyone’s wardrobe and hopefully keen people can source inspiration from the styling on our blog.
MJ: Who are your ideal customers/ clients?
FA: Strange enough, I knew that I cannot possibly be the only one interested in a Rabbi hat and the reception has been really good. Some of my customers are very religious Jewish people who just don’t know where else to buy the hat.
MJ: How much further do you plan to expand the Follow the Rabbi Hat brand?
FA: The plan is to keep leaping beyond our wildest dreams. A clothing line is in the pipeline and more rad hats too.
MJ: Plans to collaborate with a showcasing designer at some point?
FA: Certainly. If the collaboration makes sense for the brand, I’m in. the last thing I want is to limit myself and treat Follow The Rabbi Hat as something too grand to share. The goal here is to spread infinite ways to style hats.
With that said and nowhere near done, may I just say that I am all super to Follow the Rabbi Hat too!?