Digger talks to Allon at
NewUrban who offer Hats of Distinction to those who crave
style and individuality when it comes to headwear. Here, Allon
dispels the myth that "hats don't suit me" - there are shapes
and styles of hat for everyone if you follow some simple
NewUrban offer quality and
original designs in many sizes and with an attention to detail
so that you can wear that hat with confidence.
Digger: What is your background
I grew up spending a lot of time in my father's accessories
business on weekends and school holidays and ended up working
with him after a brief stint as a solicitor. Hats, gloves and
scarves have been a constant throughout my life and I found
that my creative gene wasn't being satisfied working in the
legal profession. I haven't regretted that career change
decision for a second.
Digger: Can you please tell us how NewUrban started and how the
company has evolved into what it is today?
My father retired in 2001 and I set up NewUrban at the same
time. Originally we concentrated on designing and supplying
hats for other fashion brands, but in 2004 we opened our
www.newurban.co.uk and also developed hats under
our own brand.
Digger: Please tell us more about the headwear products on offer.
We have always specialised in trilby hats, fedoras and flat
caps but in recent years, we have seen a massive growth in sun
hats, baker boy caps and newsboy caps.
Digger: There was a time a couple of generations ago when everybody
wore a hat and you could tell the class, and often the
occupation of a person, by their headgear. What do you find
are people’s motivations for wearing hats these days?
It's definitely not a class thing anymore. People's
motivations are much more driven by a sense of style and an
expression of individuality rather than a way to conform.
Digger: Why is retro and nostalgia such a big thing in so many
As technology has developed and people's lives become more
connected and complicated, it is only natural to look back at
a time that seemed more simple and straightforward. There is
also a greater appreciation of the design culture that used to
exist before globalisation took hold. Quirky designs in areas
such as fashion and furniture were prevalent particularly in
post-war UK, but these were replaced by the sameness that mass
production provided. There is a backlash against conformity
now and this has led to a growing trend in retro and vintage.
Digger: What are the most popular lines and are they tending to be
popular with all generations?
Trilby hats and flat caps are always popular and due to the
sheer variety of fabrics, designs and colours that we offer,
there is something for everyone.
Digger: What advice would you give to somebody looking at buying a
hat from you?
Lots of people say to me that they would love to own a hat,
but that hats don't suit them. That's nonsense though. The
reason people feel that hats don't suit them is that they
probably haven't tried the correct style of hat for them. On
our website, we have a 3 Step Guide to choosing the right hat.
You need to first identify your face shape, then the right
colour according to your eyes, hair and complexion and finally
you have to have the correct size. Most high street stores
only stock one or two sizes, but the reality is that what is
generally on offer would only properly fit about a quarter of
the general population. In fact, I have never found a hat that
fits me on the high street, so I understand why people would
think that a hat wouldn't suit them.
Digger: What makes NewUrban stand out and what would you say are
your strengths and your USP’s?
Variety and attention to detail. We are a specialist hat brand
and we know exactly what differentiates a good hat from a bad
one. All our NewUrban brand hats are hand crafted and are not
mass-produced and because of this we pay particular attention
to detailing such as stitching, linings, headbands,
interlinings, peaks - all the subtle differences that are
often overlooked. These make all the difference when it comes
to comfort and durability. We also stock as wide a range of
sizes as we possibly can, to fit as many people as possible.
Also, by the nature of our hats being hand crafted, only
limited numbers are ever made of each design, making NewUrban
the perfect choice if you want to be more individual.
Digger: Where are your customers coming from and what customer
feedback/comments do you get?
Our customers come to us from all over the globe. UK, Europe,
USA, Australia, Japan are our biggest markets. The overriding
sentiment is that people are thrilled that they have finally
found somewhere they can get a good quality hat that fits.
Digger: And what are the best and most enjoyable aspects of
running NewUrban for you Allon?
I love being able to create something that people can
genuinely enjoy and feel good about it. When other companies
in the hat business were looking to relocate their
manufacturing to the Far East, I kept insisting on supporting
the artisans that were trying hard to keep their family
traditions alive. It's been a hard slog, but there is now a
renaissance in producing things by hand and it is great to see
people appreciating the work that is involved in making our
Digger: What are your plans for NewUrban in the future?
I am constantly looking to evolve our hat collections and am
always on the look out for new innovations in fabrics. In
recent years, we have developed classic designs of trilbies and
fedoras and used fabrics that are specially treated to make
them both waterproof and crushable and it's those types of
developments that I am looking for. We also have some very
exciting collaborations in the pipeline that will also provide
our fans with some very exciting and unique designs in the
At New Urban, we create luxury hats for a fresh everyday
style. With unisex designs based on the classics, NewUrban
hats are served with a street style edge by updating
traditional shapes with a clever use of interesting fabrics
and detailing. Crafted in a selection of luxury fabrics and
materials, our extensive product range covers the key trends
and colours for each season whilst retaining a classic feel.
Styles and shapes range from the traditional and vintage end
of the scale with NewUrban signature trilby hats and flat
caps, through to fresh, on-trend hat styles.
accessories such as gloves and scarves.
Established in London, England in 2001, NewUrban has gone from
strength to strength and is continuing to grow and make a firm
impression on the specialist global hat market. Although
Newurban is a fresh, relatively new brand, we were formed
using the knowledge and impressive business heritage built up
from a more traditional family accessories firm that dates
back to the 1960s. By adapting and updating these sound
business foundations for a younger and more current market, we
created a brand new generation of hats – New Urban.
We set out to produce traditional hats but for the
non-traditional urban market, trendy yet commercial but always
representing great value, so the brand name was devised to
reflect this image.
Looking into the future, our main plan is to continue
developing the hat business and to expand NewUrban's
collections into other complementary