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Innovative and Artistic Wood-Brimmed Fedoras

or some people, if they can’t find something that fits their style personality, they create those things. Many well-known names in the fashion world began their journey with the same idea. They gave us new styles and looks, some of which have become classic and iconic. With his brand, Dapper Renaissance, Jonathan Thomas tries to achieve the same with his handcrafted wood-brimmed fedoras.

Thomas was born as a twin to Marine parents in North Carolina. Being a family in service, they moved often, and as a child, he experienced different cultures both in and out of the United States. Being a new kid in most places, Thomas found it hard to connect with people immediately, and he found solace in sports. After that, sports became a form of expression for him. The competition and the team spirit were driving forces for him until he suffered a knee injury in high school and had to bid farewell to his future in sports.

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Over a period, Thomas figured out that he enjoyed working with his hands and loved to build things. So, he got certified as a welder and took up various jobs. One thing that he enjoyed the most was dressing up in his personal life. Dressing up innovatively was his way to express his creative style personality without even talking to people. However, he was often not happy with his accessories, especially bow ties, while dressing up. That’s when he decided to take up sewing classes and create accessories independently.

Thomas created his brand, Dapper Renaissance, with handcrafted bow ties, lapel pins, and pocket squares. He also worked on customized brims for fabric hats, women’s clutches, and other personalized gits. Having a fascination for wood and its beauty in imperfections, Thomas started creating wood brims for his favourite accessory—the Fedora. His friends and family appreciated this, and Dapper Renaissance became synonymous with wood-brimmed Fedoras.

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Thomas handcrafts each hat of Dapper Renaissance. From selecting the wood to cutting, sanding, and polishing, then selecting fabric and textures, and fitting them all into the client’s taste and personal style—Thomas does it all. As a result, each hat is a unique, wearable piece of art that customers appreciate for its craftsmanship and quality.

Challenges are part and parcel of life and any business. San Diego, being a laid-back city, was not the best market for the innovative and artistic products that Thomas was creating. People are more value-conscious, and as an artist, that limits their creative abilities. Also, being a one-person business, Thomas finds it a little challenging to go out and speak in public about his brand. But running your own business is all about learning to face and overcome challenges, and, as a business owner, Thomas is no different. He is continuously trying to evolve as a person, businessman, and artist.

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Dapper Renaissance is the most rewarding thing that has happened for Jonathan Thomas. Being a hard worker and someone who loves to work on his creations day and night, he considers himself fortunate enough to create and watch his dreams turn into reality.

TrooRa Magazine | December 2021
Text Neha Suradkar
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