The Headwear Association 111th Annual Dinner

Originally founded in 1908 in New York City, The Headwear Association is the oldest trade association in the fashion industry, and is dedicated to promoting hats and the headwear industry throughout the world, and to foster goodwill and fellowship among those engaged in the headwear industry.

This year’s dinner is a bit of a special time for not just us here at American Hat Makers, but for everyone at the Headwear Association. Garth’s term as president has come to an end, and at tonight’s dinner we are passing the torch to Gerry Miller Jr.

“Serving as president has been an ultimate honor”, says Garth. “Being able to usher new business relationships and do my part to drive the hat industry to new heights has been such a gift.”

The night went so splendidly. Naturally, we started with the business end of things, and to unwind after that we had a little cocktail hour. After that, we had a wonderful fashion show featuring all of the new styles that everyone is testing out. It was absolutely amazing!

Seeing all the gorgeous outfits made us quite hungry, and we ate a fabulous dinner to prep us for the awards show. Retailer of the Year went to Hatsational!

The Ben Rosenthal Award went to Douglas Highsmith of Dorfman Pacific hat company.

The Lieberman Award went to the one and only Garth Watrous of American Hat Makers.

And finally, the Fit Scholarship went to Marisa Belfiore.

Hannah and Carol Fit Professor Millinery and Accessories Dept

Lovely Millinery Ladies


Flashback pictures of Garth and Hannah Watrous

Annual group photo stay tuned for updated photo from photographer


Socializing at the event

Garth, Don R, BobB

Zack @ Village Hats



Board Meeting

This year the headwear Association provided pedicabs to shuttle us to The Boathouse.

On corner of 5th Ave and 72nd and look for the pedicab drivers in the RED KANGOL Hats.

Thank you Ruby Roxanne for designing Hannah’s Hats every year.


Until next time!!

American Hat Makers Top Designer Merry-Lee Rae winner of Saul Bell Design Award 2014


Merry-Lee Rae (Watrous) One our Top Designers at American Hat Makers


Merry-Lee Rae- I love being with my family. My extraordinary husband and my amazing, gifted daughter. My horses, becoming a child in their presence and simply experiencing them in all of their profound perfection. I also have been designing hats for my husband’s business. Something new for me, and I am having a blast! I love learning new things; I thrive on a good challenge. Traveling, but after all home is best!


Merry-Lee Rae (Watrous) is a world renowned cloisonné artist. Merry-Lee has recently begun to contribute her artistic talents to the leather medium, and gratefully to our hats in particular. Her innovative designs and metal work make up an impressive part of both our Steampunk and Ashbury brands. Her 40+ years of artistic creations bring into play an amazing addition to this new (for her) medium. Merry-Lee’s cloisonné can be viewed at





Hat Collection Merry Lee Designed:

Draco Hat  “How sharper than a serpent’s tooth…?” From the depths of time itself comes an all-leather masterpiece of fierce design and regal pedigree. Our Draco asks nothing more from its wearer than 100% boldness, as that’s what it presents to the world. Hand-worked dragon-scale pattern, scalloped leather band, powerful wing accent and serpentine eye all come together to speak of battles yet to win and skies to seek aloft. Available in black and brown, to match almost any mood, the Draco is a solid beauty. Water-treated, like our other offerings; however the wing itself holds its shape best when kept as dry as the dragon’s breath. Buy the Draco today, wear it to your next gathering, and utter not a sound. Let this beauty do the roaring for you.

Comes in Black/Brown Leather





Evil Within

Kraken Hat –From the depths of the seas and hearts of Steampunk lovers everywhere comes The Kraken. The airbrushed artwork covers a full three-quarters of the crown, while a beveled hatband rises ominously to reveal the eye of the beast itself. Our best-selling new hat, THE KRAKEN offers old world elegance, mid-crown suave and a hint of danger lurking just beneath the surface.

Comes in Black/Brown Leather



Anastasia Baranoca- Z Nation- Addison Carver-American Hat Makers

Sprocket– When it comes to clockwork precision, THE SPROCKET is spot on. Laser-cut leather and engraving with an airbrushed design add elegance, style and mechanical beauty to this topper. Accented with a dual-colored, beveled-edge band and gear concho, this hat is perfect for Steampunk events, cosplay or simply topping off that weekend outfit.


Sprocket Black Angle View

Spat in the Hat Wine (Angle View)

Spat in the Hat Cocoa (Angle View)

Spat in the Hat Coffee (Angle View)



Marlow Brown - Metallic Band




Eureka Brick (Angle View)

Eureka Electric (Angle View)

Eureka Olive (Angle View)


Mendocino Wine

Sonoma Rustic


Strut Copper Angle View




Opal Copper Angle View