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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.
(L) Dara Kent-Cobb of Preston & Olivia, (R) Some of the Preston & Olivia F/W 15 Collection
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.
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.
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.
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.