First Annual Hatty Awards Announced By Hat Life

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New award for excellence in the Headwear Industry given out by 137-year old publisher to headwear designers and retailers worldwide

Although we received over 200 applications for the first Hatty Awards, we chose 20 of the best designers and innovators in the headwear industry

Hat Life, the only headwear publication in the United States, introduces the winners of the first ever Hatty Awards. The Hatty Awards will be given each year to outstanding talent in the headwear industry. With hats making a comeback on runways and Main Street, there is a need to celebrate this art form.

The first annual Hatty Award winners include Kokin, whose hats are a favorite of Barbra Streisand (who wears them when gardening), Bette Midler (she dons them on bad hair days), Beyonce, Queen Latifah and Julia Roberts. Other winners are Angela Coupe and Carol Robinson who invented a do-it-yourself hat-making kit and Legendary Headwear, the inventor of a ball cap with slide out bottle opener.

Despite the gloomy retail forecast, the hat industry is experiencing a revival not seen since John F. Kennedy took office. Hats and accessories have become material matter that defies the ups and downs of the current economic climate. Some call hats the best way for a quick pick-me-up or mood elevator (think Prozac for your head).

"Although we received over 200 applications for the first Hatty Awards, we chose 20 of the best designers and innovators in the headwear industry," said Diane Feen, editor of Hat Life. "One Hatty winner, Mainland Headwear, made embroidered hats for the recent Olympic games and Legendary Headwear created the first hybrid bucket hat- ball cap combination."

Hatty Award winner Tonya Gross utilizes recycled material to make sculptured headwear, hat designer Eia Radosavljevic teaches hat-making at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and Carry Somers is improving the lives of rural Ecuador women by making Panama hats with local straw weavers (her company Pachacuti is a Fair Trade company).

Hats are not only the first line of defense in preventing skin cancer, but designers such as Marc Jacobs and Ralph Lauren are using them as their 2009 fashion muse. Yet rarely are hat designers heralded in public for their behind-the-scenes sculptural talent. Hence the reason that Hat Life created the Hatty Awards.

Hatty winners will be featured in the 2009 Hat Life book (available in late January), the Hat Life digital newsletter and the Hat Life Website (hatlife.com).

A full listing of all 20 recipients can be viewed at http://www.hatlife.com/hatty_awards08/hatty_awards08.php

About Hat Life
Hat Life is the only publisher devoted solely to the headwear industry in the US. The first issue, launched in 1872 as a single sheet, has grown into a 350-page book featuring thousands of suppliers, retailers, wholesalers, manufacturers and a full fashion trend analysis with humorous fashion twists. Their digital newsletter is read by over 10,000 people, and the Hat Life Book is the leading authority on headwear trends, top designers and business trends.

To learn more about the Hatty Award winners (or the Hat Life Newsletter) go to: http://www.hatlife.com

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Jennifer Perez
Hat LIfe
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