Klausenburg Hats

I lived my adolescence in the late ’90s, an interesting time for youth. There was already access to information, such as MTV, Popcorn or Bravo magazines and sometimes glossy magazines from Italy, but the problem was that everything you saw there, everything that meant fashion and life style was hard to follow. The malls had not appeared, yet, and the clothing stores had the same customers. Otherwise, you could choose between the Turkish clothing market or the “Central” store bazaar, which served an entire county and beyond! So, in an attempt to mimic the content of MTV videos, all kinds of ghost brands that resembled famous brands were used. Willy-nilly one couldn’t avoid the diversity marked by the “exoticism” of the second-hand merchandise.

The true uniformity of clothing came with the advent of malls and big brands. What a joy when the first Zara or H&M opened in Cluj-Napoca! About ten years of “mall-ing” have passed and, in parallel with this type of mall-dress-code, a taste for designer clothes and accessories has also developed. For some time now, this is no longer just about a niche community but, starting from the youngest, people are looking for something more in life style, and young entrepreneurs are responding to these searches: coffee shops offering coffee specialties, restaurants with intricate design, exquisite bread, ceramics, graphics, author jewelry and… customized hats. The people in Cluj (at least) have chosen to be more creative with their own image and thus, a job that seemed to be on the verge of oblivion was reactivated: hatmaking! It may sound pretentious… or it truly is! A hat is that “special touch” in the outfit of someone who goes out into the world. A hat cannot go unnoticed, it is NOT just an accessory, it’s a statement!

At a design fair, I also came across Klausenburg Hats and asked why this toponym is on the label? I like the loudness of the word Klausenburg, and unlike Cluj-Napoca or Kolozsvár, Klausenburg ensures a better international opening. What is more, the Klausenburg name gives our brand a sophisticated and high-quality look. Another reason why we chose our name to be Klausenburg Hats was that, through our hats, we promote our city on the map.

And the logo? It was made by a good friend, Alexandru Molnar. I wanted it to be a simple logo that illustrated, by asymmetry, the idea of ​​hand-made. The resemblance to a sketch wants to emphasize that our products are not designed according to a standard pattern but, on the contrary, that they can be customized using creativity and imagination. 

We must admit that you meet IT employers in Cluj just around any corner, but less hatters, so I was curious to know the origin of this professional choice?
I was fortunate that in my family there was already a hatter, my father, who accepted, after long insistence, to teach me the craft. I say after long insistence because, at first, my father did not see a future in this profession, because people wanted to distance themselves from anything that could remind them of the comunist era, and hats were a pretty important symbol of that time. However, being surrounded by people from different backgrounds, of different ages as well as different personalities, I tested the market and noticed that they became interested in hats and that they look at them as a way of displaying their personality. Explaining this to my father, we both (re)viewed the future of this profession, and decided to start with classic, elegant hats, but also with unconventional and artistic models. 

Crafting is another thing that you don’t often encounter in the new millennium. Of course, there will always be an audience for this, as there are still people who understand and appreciate analog photography, preferring it to digital, but in the contemporary consumer society, to deal in hand-made and have customers for your products are privileges, and this means having a few special qualities: It is in fact a combination of the high quality of the materials we work with, our hands, the choices we make and the anxiety of the daily road, the idea of ​​stopping all thoughts and focusing on one thing, patiently.

However, I wonder, is there a sufficiently dedicated audience that you could make a living out of this profession today?

I say there is. Otherwise, I wouldn’t have taken this risk. There will always be demand for quality. It seems to me that it is my responsibility, as a hatter, to help the public recognize quality and give the hats a more modern look, so that they can be seen as accessories that can be worn along with a casual outfit, not just along with elegant outfits, and at this moment, on a global level, there is a wave of people who are tired of copy-paste and soulless things, meant for mass consumption. They have begun to look at a micro level too, to wish for niche products, which are higher in quality and created by craftsmen, not a corporation.

What does Klausenburg Hats want? Non-conformism, rebellion. Even if you can’t get into patterns, some of us feel the need to get out of any pattern. I think, in fact, in each of us there is this spark of rebellion that is extinguished far too quickly by the demands of society and by the idea of ​​safety and quiet, and by that saying “What will the world think? “I think that, normally, the brand largely expresses the creator’s features. I would like a person to feel what I feel when I wear a hat, even though some may feel insecure about them at first, and I tell everyone the same thing: if you feel good with a hat, you are fine, if you feel that you look doubtful, you will look doubtful. But when you get rid of these feelings and really wear a hat, it’s like you’re wearing a pair of sunglasses: you feel safer, easier going, you walk on the street like you would do in a convertible Cadillac, on a sunny day, and at that moment, the world belongs to you, it’s your moment, it’s your movie!

Where and how do we get a Klausenburg Hat? By phone, by accessing the Facebook or Instagram page, the Klausenburghats.com website, which will be launched in a month.


Hassium by Anca B.