The Extraordinary Doc Phineas!

We’d love to take some time to highlight one of our wonderful hat ambassadors! If the Steampunk world was personified into the body and soul of a single person, that person would be Doc Phineas! There’s hardly a more distinct character than he.

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Doc Phineas has an intriguing story for any day of the week! In fact, he’s probably runner-up for Most Interesting Man in the World! Doc is a seasoned world traveler, with experiences in 92 countries around the globe. He is a veteran actor who has starred in 15 Hollywood motion pictures. During his college years in the SF Bay Area he wrote, scored and produced 18 Broadway style shows which were produced at the Grace Church in San Jose, CA where he was Youth Minister. On top of this, he has produced 3 musical CD’s, authored 5 books, and has been teaching for over 45 years.

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It seems that since birth, even, Doc Phineas has had an affinity for artistic performance. At the age of 3, he went into full on dance lessons, tap, ballet, gymnastics, singing, violin, piano, and drum lessons. Every weekend his mother took him to do fancy dancing at Buffalo ranch in Akron, Oklahoma. From ages 5 to 8 he appeared as a regular tap dancer on the Pinky Lee Show on television, with appearances on Howdy Doody, the Mickey Mouse Club. He even made guest appearances on The Lone Ranger, Jungle Jim. As he got older his  piano skills really developed and he could play old fashioned rinky tink piano tunes. As a young teenager he was dressed up in a bowler and spatz and even a fake moustache, knocking out the tunes at the Long Branch Saloon in Dodge City, Kansas where they filmed Gunsmoke. Doc Phineas claims that he adopted the style known as Steampunk as early as the 1950’s!

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He soon landed a full scholarship to attend UC Berkeley and relocated to San Francisco, where he worked 3 jobs and produced broadway style shows for the children at a local church, where he was a youth minister. When he completed his BA degree he got a scholarship to study in India. He then headed off to India where he studied yoga under the tutelage of the great Indian saint Sri Anandamayi Ma. He completed his MCE at Madras University, and headed back to Berkeley to continue work on his Ph.D. He was very thin being 6 ft tall and when he returned from India he weighed only 105 lbs as he had gone through famine there. When he was walking in San Francisco one day in long flowing Indian clothing, the fashion diva Sabina saw him and signed him into her agency as a male model. He became a celebrated male model working for House of Dior in Paris and the house model of I Magnin in San Francisco appearing in GQ magazine and on fashion runways all over the world.

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His cousin was on her way to Hollywood to appear on Police Woman and St. Elsewhere so she took him to Hollywood and he ended up with parts on Young and Restless, and was featured in OOKid, Alexa, Out For Blood, Oakbay, Ardvarks, and Batman Forever. He was also working as a set designer and consequently ended up doing designing for Bette Davis, Doris Day, Barbara Streisand, and Michael Jackson for their homes. One night at a party for Wolfgang Puck, he met Tony Curtis. They became such great friends, Tony invited Doc to be on his production team and he worked with him on the last films of his life. He always plays characters that are like Steampunks and old characters in a Western city; the piano player in a bar, the old shop keeper in a western town. Tony asked Doc to move to Las Vegas so they could keep working together . In the year 2000 he had finished his Ph.D. at London University, Shefferton College, so he continued working in productions and teaching in the Las Vegas area. As a member of the Single Action Shooting Society he continued to work on Old Time Movies out at Bonnie Springs Ranch and Calico Ghost Town. Five years ago, he noticed the transformation of some of his students at UNLV to Victorian clothes, top hats, monocles and goggles. He told them he had been wearing that attire since he was a boy. They begged him to sponsor the Steampunk Group at UNLV they told him they couldn’t find one faculty member to back them up, that people laughed at them and they weren’t really welcome at Renaissance Faire…they loved this genre of fiction but they felt sad and alone. He decided it was time to resurrect Dr. Phineas, a character he had once played.

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He was named President of the Steampunk Guild and they got organized so that they could have meetings, learn more about garb, enjoy tea and conversation with eachother, work on wonderful inventions, and travel to archeological sites and digs all over the world including Valley of the Kings in Egypt! Without Doc Phineas’ drive and dedication to the fashion subgenre, who knows where the world of Steampunk would be!

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The amazingly talented Lindsey Stirling!

Lindsey Stirling  is an American violinist, dancer, performance artist, and composer.

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She presents choreographed violin performances, both live and in music videos found on her YouTube channel, which she created in 2007. Stirling performs a variety of music styles, from classical to pop and rock to electronic dance music. Aside from original work, her discography contains covers of songs by other musicians and various soundtracks. Her music video, “Crystallize” finished as the eighth-most watched video of 2012, and her cover version of “Radioactive” with Pentatonix won Response of the Year in the first Youtube Music Awards in 2013. Stirling achieved one million singles sold worldwide by August 2014. As of July 2016, her Lindseystomp YouTube channel exceeded 8 million subscribers and over a billion total views. Stirling has been named in Forbes magazine’s 30 Under 30 In Music: The Class Of 2015. Forbes notes her quarter-finalist position on America’s Got Talent in 2010, a No. 2 position on the Billboard 200 for her second album Shatter Me in 2014, and her 8 million subscribers on YouTube. Stirling’s debut album was a commercial success in Europe, selling 200,000 copies in Germany, winning a platinum certification; three additional certifications were given by Austria, Switzerland and Poland. The debut album was nominated for the 2014 Billboard Music Awards for Top Dance/ Electronic album. Stirling’s second album Shatter Me won the 2015 Billboard Music Awards for Top Dance/Electronic Album. Check out this awesome video, Roundtable Rival, to see just how talented Lindsey is!

 

 

Her dancers are always so coordinated and alluring! It’s always such a pleasure watching one of Lindsey’s videos. She’s so obviously passionate about what she does, seeing someone create something so beautiful and genuine is so inspiring!

 

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Lindsey and the Roundtable Rival dancers. The top hat on the left is a Trinket!

Stirling describes her childhood as being raised in a modest household and stated “I would not trade my humble childhood years for anything else. Due to her family’s financial limitations, her parents could only afford to find a violin teacher who would give her half lessons. Told by instructors that “a child isn’t going to learn how to play in 15 minutes a week”, her parents persisted, and at the age of five she began taking violin lessons. You can see where this led!

 

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Lindsey with the Master of Tides dancers. The hats pictured here are the Pipefitter, Kraken, and Trinket!

Nowadays, Lindsey is recording amazing music and stunning crowds with performance pieces like “Master of Tides”. Lindsey partnered with UE Boom to create a live, spontaneous performance piece in a crowded plaza and filmed it with hidden cameras! Check out this one-of-a-kind performance!

 

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Whenever we get the chance to partner with such a unique, creative-minded individual such as Lindsey, we’re reminded of why we do what we do! At American Hat Makers, we strive to create masterful pieces of art, so that artists like Lindsey can achieve their vision and continue to fill the world with captivating and genuine art!

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Steampunk Couture!

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Steampunk has elevated past a cultural fad and graduated into a way of life. It’s influence can be seen everywhere when it comes to art, television and cinema. Allowing for the uninhibited creation of beautiful masterpieces, steampunk and its’ subgenres has opened entire worlds of artistic possibility. Harnessing the energy and soul of such a powerful movement would be hard, but not impossible.

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Kato wearing a limited edition Curio.

Such a daring, unlimited universe would require someone with equal daring and drive! Introducing Kate Lambert, or Kato. Pioneering the steampunk subgenre from the early 2000’s onward, Kato has become one of the biggest faces in the steampunk community. Starting off making post-apocalyptic wear and modelling it on her Myspace page, Kato’s influences drew heavily from Victorian styles mixed with elements from the Mad Max universe and Tank Girl.

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Kato showing exactly how to rock a brown Topper.

In 2005 Kato launched Steampunk Couture. Steampunk Couture was founded as a private couture business producing custom-fit clothing and accessories, and was the first company to cater specifically to the steampunk genre.  Focusing on high quality with a hand-made touch, this independent label remains as a one-woman team, adding a personal touch while striving to make each collection exciting and unique. Kato releases seasonal collections of limited edition designs throughout the year, as well as vintage finds and accessories.

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Rin wearing a limited-edition Pistol.

Another influential name in the world of steampunk is Katrina Wilkinson, or Rin! Rin is a model and college student based in Las Vegas. Rin never had a big interest in becoming a model until she did her first photo shoot for graduation. After that, she continued doing photo shoots for other students, and from there it developed into a passion!

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In 2010, Rin discovered the amazing world of steampunk. Rin’s obsession with clockwork and steam-powered machinery put her right at home in the steampunk world. In 2012, after following Kato for quite some time, Rin entered a “Cosplay Kato” contest. Rin was chosen as the winner and was flown up to Portland, Oregon where she modeled for Kato’s clothing line and website. From then on, Rin and Kato became close friends and business partners. Today, Rin’s modelling is used in and inspires many steampunk works. Her unique look and eye for style has made her one of the most recognizable and in-demand steampunk models. For the latest in amazing, high quality steampunk fashion check out Steampunk Couture and Rin’s Facebook!

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Voodoo Hatter!

Voodoo Hatter goes to lengths unseen to deliver the ultimate in handmade leather top hats. 19th Century style infused with fierce sensibility and a touch of dark energy make our Voodoo Top Hats essential to your subversive lifestyle.

 

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The Caliber in red, black, cigar, and rattlesnake.

 

From hard-kicking rocker to brazen biker or neo-noir grifter, you will make a definitive statement wherever you go. We designed these bad asses to be the kinds of hats you can become known for wearing. Formed out of black or brown full-grain smooth leather, our toppers are built to last. The new additions feature remarkable airbrushed, laser engraved designs and eye catching rattlesnake skin overlay.

 

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The Skull N Roses (design by Adam Rose)

 

Adam Rose of Fallen Owl Tattoo is an amazing tattoo artist who sends us his designs to be used in the production of our hats!

 

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The Silver Skull (design by Adam Rose)

 

These styles utilize state-of-the-art laser engraving and airbrushing techniques to perfectly recreate Adam’s absolutely stunning works of art.

 

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The Cocktailer (design by Adam Rose)

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Shipwrecked (design by Adam Rose)

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Balance (design by Adam Rose)

 

Voodoo Hatter lives for biker rallies! Whether it’s the Lone Star rally in Galveston, Texas or the world famous Sturgis Motorcycle Rally we love absolutely tearing it up with our fans and having a great time.This year’s rallies were especially great. As we attend more and more rallies, Voodoo Hatter becomes more and more recognizable among the community and being able to experience that first hand is incredible!

 

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Downtown Sturgis 2016

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Enjoying Sturgis Motorcycle Rally

Voodoo Hatter is even respected among celebrities! We’re absolutely delighted to see such a wide range of stars enjoying our hats!

 

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Steven Tyler of Aerosmith looking absolutely characteristic in an El Dorado

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Elvis Nolasco of American Crime rocking an El Dorado

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Anastasia Baranova of Z Nation wearing an El Dorado.

It really isn’t hard to see why Voodoo Hatter is so well loved! When you put on a topper by Voodoo Hatter it invokes an adventurous spirit that’s sure to take you to new places! When it comes to Voodoo Hatter, the meek need not apply!

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GBK’S First Annual Naughty or Nice Giving Lounge

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Breeda Wool in a Summit

This year’s first annual GBK Naughty or Nice Gifting Lounge is going to be epic! American Hat Makers is excited to be able to attend this event and make a difference out in the community! For those who don’t know, GBK’s Celebrity Gifting Suites bring together high profile celebrities and product manufacturers and brands in order to generate awareness of charitable issues, and to give manufacturers international coverage of their products.

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Greer Grammer in a Cyclone

Individuals bid on the opportunity to attend a lounge with the celebrity of their choice, and have the opportunity to get their product into the hands of some of the most influential people around! It’s always a great opportunity to get to meet so many amazing people and to share the products we are so passionate about!

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Dolvett Quince

At American Hat Makers our mission is to provide our customers with distinctive, one-of-a-kind, artisan hats made by hand with the finest materials sourced and produced in the United States. Above and beyond the creation of superior products, we are dedicated to treating our customers and employees with compassion, integrity, and a commitment to bettering our community through service, philanthropy, and open-heartedness. Around the holiday season, we at American Hat Makers like to reflect on how blessed and fortunate we are, so we jumped at another chance to work with Gavin at GBK to make a positive impact in the community! His connections truly have what it takes to launch a company to the next level!
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Anastasia Baranova in an El Dorado.

Anastasia Baranova was born in Moscow, Russia, in what was then part of the Soviet Union. As a child, she began modeling in Moscow. In 1998, Baranova and her mother, Ata, moved from Russia to Minnesota in the United States, where she continued to model. In 2000, they moved to California, where Baranova began her acting career. Baranova began her acting career in 2002 with a small speaking role on the Disney Channel series Lizzie McGuire. She then won the lead role for the Discovery Kids/ NBC television series Scout’s Safari, playing the character Jennifer Lauer. To learn the English language, she used the Jumpstart CD-ROM series and took speech and singing classes. She is fluent in both Russian and English, and studied at Chapman University. In 2014, Baranova joined the cast of the Syfy post-apocalyptic horror-comedy-drama series Z Nation, playing the role of Addison “Addy” Carver.

 

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Gilles Marini in a Cyclone

  Gilles Marini is a french-american actor known for his roles in the film Sex and the City and in the television shows Brother and Sister and Switched at Birth. After working as a baker in his father’s bakery since he was eight years old and high school, he joined the French army and was stationed in Paris, where he served as a fireman in the Paris Fire Brigade. It was in Paris where Marini met Fred Goudon, a photographer who introduced him to the world of modeling. After fulfilling his military duties, he went to the United States to learn English while working as a model. He began his career as a model in his early twenties. One of his first jobs was a television commercial for Bud Light beer. He made his acting debut at the age of 29, in the 2005 horror flick Screech of the Decapitated.

 

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Jimmy Jean-Louis in a Cyclone

Jimmy Jean-Louis (born August 8, 1968) is a Haitian actor and model best known for his role as “the Haitian” on the NBC television series Heroes. Jean-Louis was born in Petionville, near Port-au-Prince, Haiti. He lived there until the age of twelve, when he moved to Paris with his family to pursue a modeling career, after moving he experienced a culture shock because of the rural to city lifestyle change. He enrolled in business courses, but quickly realized that his heart lay in performance, and studied at the Académie Internationale de la Danse. His parents returned to Haiti, but Jean-Louis and his brother remained in Paris. Around a decade later in 1991, producers discovered Jean-Louis during one of his dancing stints in a French club, who were impressed. They tapped him to appear in a Coca-Cola advertisement, the success of which prompted the Jean-Louis to spend several years modeling across Europe. He was very successful in London, working for such notables as Gianfranco Ferre and Valentino. Before finding success as a model, he was homeless at times in Paris. By the mid-’90s, he was gracing music videos by such stars as Mariah Carey, Seal, and George Michael, and appearing in low-budget “independent” films in Los Angeles.

 

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Krista Marie Yu in a Summit.

Krista Marie Yu was born on October 25, 1988 in Alameda, California, USA. She is an actress notable for her role as Molly on the ABC sitcom Dr. Ken. She has been a guest on television series that include The Thundermans, Agent Carter, Switched at Birth, The Middle, and Cougar Town. She has been featured in the major motion pictures The Darkness and Love the Coopers.

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Cerina Vincent in a limited edition Double G hat.

Cerina Vincent is an American actress and writer best known for playing Maya the Yellow Galaxy Ranger in the television series Power Rangers Lost Galaxy, as well as her film appearances in Not Another Teen Movie, Cabin Fever, It Waits, and Everybody Wants to Be Italian. She has written three books with Jodi Lipper, and writes a regular column for The Huffington Post.

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This year’s event is going to be held at OUE Skyspace LA inside the U.S Bank tower and we’re beyond excited to see the beautiful view of Los Angeles and enjoy the holiday season!

 

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Twitter: @americanhatter

Instagram: @americanhatmakers

Click to Bid and help raise money!

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The Decline of the Hat in American Culture

Hats have been a staple of fashion and elegance for millennia. Glance over any picture of a crowd in the early 1900’s and you’d have a hard time finding anyone hat-less! Leaving your house without your hat was comparable to going to work without your pants! So what caused such a popular and widely used accessory to be phased out? During the early 1900’s, a renaissance of self-grooming habits arose which saw the first commercially released PH-Balanced shampoo. This discovery promoted showing off your hair, which would require leaving your hat at home. A May 1908 printing of the New York Times contained an article detailing the processes and benefits of shampooing, saying that hair that is “soft and glossy in appearance and texture” was of utmost desirability, thus encouraging many people to embrace these new hat-less style trends.shampoo

At the start of WWII, any non-essential resource or material was redirected for the wartime effort. This disrupted the availability of many of the materials necessary for the production of different hat styles. Fashion had to respond accordingly, and many man-made materials and alternative processes were developed to replace the scarce resources. Although millinery itself was unrestricted by law, due to extreme rationing, hats became largely unavailable simply due to the fact that they were not a necessary item. Average citizens could not justify using precious rationing coupons on something as frivolous as a hat. Men returning from war had just endured five years of regulated uniforms which did not include hats, and many were not eager to resume wearing them when they returned and simply hung up their helmets and abandoned head wear entirely.

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Years after the end of WWII,  President Dwight D. Eisenhower became a key player in the implementation of a national interstate highway system. His experiences during the 1919 Motor Transport Corps convoy, which was a long distance military convoy that traveled roughly 3000 miles from Washington D.C using the Lincoln Highway, gave him the knowledge necessary to design an effective transport system across the country. While serving as an allied general, he gained an appreciation for Germany’s Reichsautobahn system which was the early version of today’s Autobahn. Eisenhower noted at how quickly a central highway system could be used to deploy troops and resources necessary to combat an invasion or provide relief for an emergency.

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With the implementation of a national highway system, transport in America shifted from bustling, cramped, public transport to using personal automobiles made available by companies such as Chevrolet and Ford. This shift from public to private transit is probably the most to blame for the decline in hats. When using public transit, a large portion of time is spent enduring the elements, whether walking to the bus station or sitting on a bench waiting for the bus to arrive. The unpredictability of the elements made it smart to wear an outfit that could be used in various weather conditions. Therefore, no outfit would be complete without a hat. As more and more citizens made the change to private transit, time spent outside while traveling dwindled greatly. This, coupled with the diminished headroom inside of the average car cabin, made it almost an inconvenience to wear a hat. 1348488portrait-of-former-president-dwight-eisenhower-wearing-cowboy-hat-on-his-190-acre-farm-posters
Presidents and hats have a very storied history.President  John F. Kennedy’s inaugurational speech was the first ever to be broadcast to the nation in color. Coming only about 15 years after the first televised presidential speech, the importance of this event was not lost to the public. Wearing a hat to inauguration was commonplace, and even somewhat regarded as tradition. President John F. Kennedy shook this tradition and ditched his top hat after the first few sentences of his inaugural speech.

 

The impact of this gesture was noticed largely by the young baby boomers, who wished to resist the conformity of their parents and pave their own way.This decision is most widely regarded as the single most impactful event pertaining to the popularity of wearing hats, although the significance was probably increased due to various other social factors at that time.

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As time went on, more and more radical hairstyles developed and the use of hair products continued to rise, with 1964 seeing hairspray as the top-selling beauty product. Rather than being decimated by the actions of one man, the hat was metaphorically hung up due to a rise in youth culture in the 1960’s and the suppression of formality in all areas of life.

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