Owner Elwyn Crawford sees her creations as a way to highlight one’s artistic and charismatic qualities and attract attention.
“Ornament highlights creativity, self love and individuality. It is visual which carries big impact as sight is the dominant sense. It allows people to experience beauty in new and different ways. I find the experience of beauty can be inspiring and satisfying.” she says.
Her earliest works were the product of obtaining, dissecting, and reassembling old hats. Studying under Bay Area milliners Wayne Wichern, Jasmin Zorlu and Deanna Gibbons, she began blocking both classic and original designs. As a member of the Oakland artist community Five Ton Crane, some of her pieces appear whimsical and sculptural and use found objects for decoration.
As much a work of 3D art as an accessory, O’Lover hats seek to create a visual impact in addition to supporting socially and environmentally enlightened practices. Occasionally, Crawford will design lines that are influenced by beach cleanups she attends as well as reusing scrap into secondary and tertiary products. Looking to support local businesses, recycled details such as wooden buttons or feathers are sourced from the United States, and supply chains are kept as transparent as possible. She personally travels to South America in order to obtain her fair trade straw and help to keep the traditions of weaving alive.
In keeping with her philosophy of reuse, Crawford reburbishes hats for both men and women. Custom orders and consultations are available by appointment.
“I love that unique hats attract positive attention. A fun hat brightens the landscape and makes life more interesting. People passing often comment with appreciation. People who wear unique hats express self confidence by sharing their personality publicly in a quiet, but pronounced way.” she says.
Bringing tradition forward into the modern era of fashion, O’Lover Hats blends age-old techniques with current sensibility.