The Optimo Story
Optimo began with the dream of a “real” hat. More than two decades later, that dream is intact. Every step we take today is another step towards refinement and mastery of our craft making us able to produce “real” hats.
Optimo Hat Company was founded in 1996 by Graham Thompson, who has spent his career recovering and advancing the lost art of fine hatmaking.
The foundation for his knowledge was obtained by apprenticing seven years with Johnny Tyus, a legendary hatmaker from Chicago. His quest to resurrect a lost quality has taken him around the world in search of the finest materials and in locating and bringing back to life antique machinery from the Golden Age of hatmaking.
Today, Optimo stands for uncompromising quality, beauty, and the best of traditional craft and modern technology — for clients who appreciate true luxury, enduring style, and unmatched functionality.
RESURRECTING A LOST QUALITY
Proper hatmaking involves dozens of steps, from the felting of fine furs, through shaping, surface finishing and trimming …
Our retail store is situated in the heart of Chicago’s Loop, in the historic Monadnock building. Here, we showcase our latest …
The Optimo workshop is a like a working museum of the finest and rarest hatmaking tools and machinery …