News and updates from the Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation

Luxury Hat Maker Creates Limited-Edition Frank Lloyd Wright Porkpie Hat

Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation | Nov 17, 2017

Optimo, maker of exquisite-quality custom hats, releases limited edition Frank Lloyd Wright hat.

“Style is a consequence of character.” – Frank Lloyd Wright

The iconic style of Frank Lloyd Wright comes to life today with the release of a limited-edition hat, modeled after the one that the famed architect once favored, by one of the world’s finest hatmakers, Optimo.

Following a careful study of Wright’s own hats in the Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation’s archive collections, Optimo has crafted a replica, called “The Wright”, from the highest-quality felt, dyed a rich shade of brown. Each hat incorporates the care and attention that can only be found in a handmade product, and created at the company’s Chicago workshop.

“Frank Lloyd Wright knew that style was a person’s signature. His look was both impeccable and unmistakable: a cape or scarf; a cane that was used not for walking, but gesturing; and finished with an exquisitely made porkpie hat. Like the eaves of a well-designed building, Wright’s hat completed his personal design,” said Stuart Graff, CEO and President of Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation.

This is the first limited-edition hat produced by Optimo, as it introduces its “icon series.” Celebrating the 150th anniversary of Wright’s birth, only 150 custom pieces will be produced.

Photo by Aaron Green.

Along with the hat, each purchase includes a collector’s hat box, a one-year Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation membership and a commemorative set of the Frank Lloyd Wright Quarterly exploring Wright’s legacy in his 150th year.

“Like all Optimo pieces, this exquisite hat is handmade from the finest materials available and specially crafted for the client,” said Graham Thompson, founder of Optimo. “Modeled on Wright’s own hats, the color, quality of felt and details (like the grommets and band) speak to a person who knows himself, and who shares a commitment to style, quality, and artistry.” Thompson visited Wright’s Taliesin West in Ariz., headquarters of the Foundation, and gained access to the archives to conduct a detailed study of Wright’s personal hat collection.

Optimo and its founder, Thompson, are on a singular mission: to make the best hats in the world. After a lengthy apprenticeship under the guidance of experienced masters, Thompson became proficient in the hatmaker’s trade and began creating new American classics, gracing the heads of men and women who know who they are and how they want to be in the world.

What makes an Optimo so special is a commitment to a level of quality that seemed to have been lost. Quality expressed through the use of the finest materials, articulated with authenticity and integrity. Quality derived from putting the customer at the center of design so that a hat could express the personal style of its owner. Optimo brings this quality to life through the care and attention that can only be achieved by hand-craftsmanship and personal service, using tools, molds and equipment from Europe and Latin America, working in time-tested methods to make hats of lifelong value. The master hatmakers of Optimo work in their Chicago factory to produce unique works that speak confidently to people who know themselves.

Today, Optimo hats are prized all over the world and included in museum collections, seen in the movies, worn by style icons and cherished by their owners.

“Optimo shares important values established by Wright: that the intrinsic qualities of fine materials should be revealed with integrity; that individuality should be celebrated through self-expression; that form and function are one, joined in a spiritual union. Together we celebrate a tradition of brilliant, authentic, American design and craftsmanship,” said Graff.


“The Wright” limited-edition Optimo hat retails for $1,500 and a portion of the proceeds from the purchase goes to support the Foundation.

News and updates from the Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation