Straw Hats: the Émigré Empire

Émigrés, desperate for a life of fashion, but knowing they could not return to tumultuous France, often started businesses of simple and basic fashion in their new homes. Some were seamstresses, some started little companies of embroidery and needlework, but the biggest fad that émigrés started was straw hats. Straw hats were already a hugely popular in Italy, where they were woven with the best straw by experts of the trade. Using cheaper materials but following that luxurious model, émigrés sold and promoted straw hats in London and other places in Europe. While the Italians always did it better than they did, they made some money with these fun hats. My straw hat is usually worn at the beach, but could’ve been modeled by an émigré straw hat from the 1700s.