SWAINE's very own distinguished historic hatters, HERBERT JOHNSON, created the hat of one of popular cinema's most enduring iconic heroes. In 1980 two American gentlemen visited and introduced themselves as Mr Steven Spielberg and Mr Harrison Ford.
Mr. Spielberg announced that he was on the brink of making an adventure film with Mr. Ford as the central figure and revealed that the main character Indiana Jones would be wearing a hat which would be pivotal to the character and the plot. The tall stovepipe classic poet hat style became the foundation for what was to become the iconic "Raiders" hat. Known for its ageless qualities, a Poet is a wide brim fur felt hat with a tall, straight-sided crown and a Herbert Johnson staple since the 1890s. A shade of brown rabbit fur felt was chosen, and some modifications were made to the poet hat to create its character & to facilitate filming.
The "Indy" hat was made distinctive by reducing the brim width only on the sides, creating a dimensional brim. Shaping the brim into an ovoid protected the eyes & neck whilst reducing the sides helped with the all-important camera angles. Enhanced by snapping the front brim down, the explorer look also had an altered original ribbon-band height from 50mm to 39mm to make the tall crown appear even more elevated.
Besides the original Indiana Jones hats for Mr. Ford, Herbert Johnson produced an additional 45 for the various stunt actors on set. The collaboration grew into a healthy ongoing partnership, with the company providing all hats for the following two sequels. The success of the Indiana Jones franchise has secured their place in popular culture forever, and just like the original poet, the hero Indy Poet is ageless and enjoys enduring popularity to this day.
Clients today are encouraged to explore the Herbert Johnson hat Collection and are reminded that bespoke options are available and customisation is encouraged.