People

Spotlight

Preston & Olivia

FROM A CASUAL BASEBALL CAP TO A BEAUTIFUL FELTED WOOL HAT IN THE WINTER, NOTHING TRANSFORMS AN OUTFIT THE WAY A GOOD HAT DOES. IF YOU’VE SEEN OUR F/W 15 CAMPAIGN, THEN YOU KNOW THAT WE’RE REALLY JONESING ON THEM THIS SEASON. SO WHAT’S AT THE TOP OF OUR TOPPER LIST? PRESTON & OLIVIA.

Inspired by her current home in downtown Manhattan, but with more than a hint of her Southern roots, Dara Kent-Cobb launched Preston & Olivia in 2011 with the idea of bringing two sensibilities together to create a timeless and sophisticated brand.
Preston & Olivia hats are featured in the likes of Vogue, W, Allure and more with regularity and they’ve turned even the most hat-shy into hat-obsessed. We caught up with our friend Dara to hear more about the brand and where it’s headed.
Dara Kent-Cobb - Preston & Olivia 023P&O Studio Stills 0051                                                  (L) Dara Kent-Cobb of Preston & Olivia, (R) Some of the Preston & Olivia F/W 15 Collection
FOUNDED/ESTABLISHED/BORN:
The concept and name for the brand was founded in a spring 2010 Small Business class at FIT, and the first collection (bridal) was launched in the spring of 2011.
LOCATED:
NYC
FIRST THING YOU DO IN THE MORNING/ LAST THING YOU DO BEFORE GOING TO SLEEP:
The first thing I do in the morning is start the day with a nice Americano, that my husband usually makes for me while I avoid actually getting out of my warm, comfy bed.  I wake up my brain with a daily crossword puzzle and catch up on the latest emails and Instagram posts. I find doing these things before I start the day is best for my productivity. The last thing I do before going to sleep is kiss my husband good night and tell him I love him.
IMG_7650                                                                                                                                                  Inspiration and the finished product
BEST MOMENT SO FAR AT YOUR BRAND/SITE/FOUNDATION/INSTITUTION:
I would say the best moments are seeing my hats in print magazines that I grew up reading and admiring. In school, I used to create actual pin boards and inspiration boards from magazine tears. So, the first few times I saw my hats featured in those magazines like VOGUE and W, I was completely beside myself. I think that’s a huge accomplishment for any fashion brand.
WHAT’S YOUR FAVORITE PART OF WEARING A HAT:
I love the transformation you can feel as soon as you put on a hat. A hat can change your look immediately and give you such confidence. I often feel like a different person when I create a look around my hats. It’s fun. Hats are fun!
WHAT’S ON THE HORIZON:
I’m finally at a place where I am ready to explore the world of wholesale. I feel it’s the next step, and I want to see my products in stores so that customers can see, touch, and try one in person vs being only an online shop.
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                                                                                                    The Preston & Olivia Milford in the HATCH F/W 15 Campaign 
WHAT DO YOU LOVE MOST ABOUT WHAT YOU DO:
Creating/being creative daily. I’ve always loved making things/doing arts and crafts; so finding a way to make that my actual job has been the most rewarding thing.
WHERE OR FROM WHOM DO YOU TAKE INSPIRATION:
Without a doubt, images inspire me the most. I think as a photographer and a designer, I’m very visual and I tend to see my designs and collections as they will appear in a photograph. When I design, I think of how the person will look wearing a hat, and I always envision it as a moment captured in time. My husband and I surround ourselves with photography through many books by our favorite photographers, and our large inspiration pin boards in our workspace.
BEST ADVICE YOU’VE EVER RECEIVED:
Without your health, all the money in the world doesn’t mean anything. A professor I once had at FIT told me that, and I don’t think she knew how impactful it was. It sort of came out of nowhere, but it truly stuck with me. I try my best treat my body well by staying active, eating as healthy as I can, and keeping stress to a minimum so that I can live a happy, healthy life. Doesn’t the saying go, “It’s not the years in your life, it’s the life in your years?”
WHY ARE YOU DRAWN TO HATCH:
I love everything Ariane has created. She saw a need in the market place, and not only filled it, she created an amazing brand with the most beautiful designs and has partnered with like-minded brands along the way to create a true lifestyle brand. I have never been pregnant, but I have a few favorite HATCH pieces that I wear often. They are so comfortable and well designed in the best fabrics.
Follow Preston & Olivia on Instagram for more millinary musings.  

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