When I first came across THE H.W.DOG&CO., I was surprised to learn that this premium hat brand from Japan was only established in 2015. They have such an extensive collection of products that are heavily inspired by the 19th and early 20th century vintage style. But what I found most interesting is the brand name itself — I could hardly relate “dog” to hats. Later on I read from an interview with THE H.W.DOG&CO.’s founder, Fumiya Tsurumaki, and learnt that the inclusion of “dog” in the brand name is merely for fun and has no particular meaning, I was very much intrigued and eager to learn more about the brand.
說著玩味的說話，工作起來比誰都認真。說真的，THE H.W.DOG&CO.可能是日本數一數二認真的製帽品牌了。在創立品牌以前，弦卷史也已經任職於別的日本帽子品牌，也曾經在古着店負責Re-make再製工作，因而在THE H.W.DOG&CO.剛成立，很快就為品牌摸索出方向 —— 重現20世紀大量生產出現前的精緻製帽技巧，並承襲20年代美式復古、40年代後的軍事和歐洲工裝風格作為設計主軸。而因著這些鮮明的定位，加上工藝精湛，很快就獲得時尚界的注目和認同。
Though THE H.W.DOG&CO. has a seemingly playful name, it might yet be the most dedicated hat maker from Japan. Before starting his own brand, Tsurumaki had worked for several Japanese hat brands and gained some hands-on experience in re-making vintage items. It came rather naturally that when he started THE H.W.DOG&CO., he decided to produce exquisite-quality hats that draw inspiration from the American and European workwear and functional military items from the 1940s-60s. The brand quickly gained ground and became a lauded figure in the fashion world.
Obviously it takes more than just perfect craftsmanship to make the brand a success, THE H.W.DOG&CO. enlists quality mold makers and sewing machines for their production; for example, they use the vintage sewing machines from the 1910s, the Singer sewing machines from the 1920s, and the Union Special sewing machines from the 1930s that are well known to the denim fans.
Another interesting thing about THE H.W.DOG&CO. is that some of their products come with a special feature — a paper ticket stub that is attached to the edge of the hat. In fact, I was puzzled by why people would keep that stub on when they wear the hat. It was later on when I came across some old photos of America that I found out, during the 1920s, the local Americans would sew ticket stubs from baseball games and train rides to their hats as a momento. Although the origin of this tradition is largely unknown and that most of the people who wear a hat with a ticket stub now are doing it merely for fashion, I am still glad and have much respect that there is a brand like THE H.W.DOG&CO. that is willing to take on the tradition.