A local custom milliner is throwing his hat in the ring with the launch of a new handcrafted hat business. Trovador Customs, a line of custom, ready-to-wear, and limited-edition hats for men and women, has officially launched in Austin.
The new brand is the brainchild of Austinite Ryan McGrath, a self-described multi-medium artist, musician, and traveler who designs each custom piece fitted to the individual hat wearer and crafts each hat entirely by hand. This process yields one-of-a-kind hats that are uniquely created for each customer.
Meant to be personalized chapeaus that journey along wherever wearers go, Trovador’s custom hats start life as a conversation (in person or virtually) between McGrath and each customer, during which McGrath gathers a vast medley of info, including learning each customer’s story and the overarching themes of their life. The hat is then fitted and handcrafted, and can even include more personalized touches, like custom dyes, stitching, lyrics, quote engravings, and personal mementos.
While Trovador’s custom hats are head and shoulders above, in terms of personalization, the company also sells striking ready-to-wear straw and felt hats through its online hat shop. While those are immediately available, Trovador’s custom hats take a month to six weeks to complete, on the whole not very long considering their handcrafted nature.
Ready-to-wear hats range in price from $315 to $900, while the price of custom Trovador hats depends on the wearer’s chosen customizations.
“I’ve always been drawn to design and vintage aesthetics that carry their own intricate narrative,” McGrath says. “Inspired by musical icons and Western styles, and having been raised in Texas and Oklahoma, where cowboy hats are a way of life, hat making developed from the search for a creative outlet. Through experiences with woodworking, glass blowing, and throwing clay, I found a passion working with my hands. My goal is to make quality designs that outstep trends, incorporate your story, and complement your image.”
In celebration of the company’s debut, Trovador will host a launch party on Thursday, May 20 at 7 pm at Native Hostel, at 807 E. Fourth St. The event will feature Trovador’s Off the Hook spring collection of hats and will include live music from local artist Paul Val, and an open bar courtesy of Southern Heights Brewery and Heaven’s Door Whiskey.
The party is free and open to the public. Register for the event online.