Christys' Hats: The Godfather Of British Hat-Making
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Christys’ Hats: The Godfather Of British Hat-Making

Christys' Hats is a Great British Brand 2024

Christys’ Hats is an entry in our Great British Brands 2024 book. 

Christys’ Hats: Great British Brand 2024

‘Christy & Co Ltd has been manufacturing fine hats in England since 1773, and our founder Miller Christy’s passion for quality and craft skills has been handed down through generations of hat-makers for 250 years. Today, craftsmen and women at our own factory in Witney, Oxfordshire, trained over many years to perfect their hatting skills, still use time-honoured methods; 24 separate processes go into making a Christys’ felt hat. Our pride in such craftship is emblazoned in Christys’ red-and-gold insignia – synonymous with the finest traditionally crafted hats – found in each lining and on our renowned red hat-boxes.

Man crafting a Christys' Hat

Our specialist collection ranges from felts and panamas to bakerboy caps, top hats and bowlers. The stories of Christys’ hats have passed into British history and Hollywood legend: we made headwear for the first police forces in Britain; our top hat, popularised by Prince Albert, became an everyday essential for the British gentleman (a Christys’ ‘topper’ is in the V&A); Marlon Brando wore our Homburg as Don Corleone; and Indiana Jones made our Poet Adventurer his globally recognised trademark.

A business with such depth of heritage and history is backed by our modern resolve to make the finest products with the best materials and a vow never to compromise on product quality. Technology helps with time, cost and efficiency in delivering the many different elements of a brand and business. Online selling reaches national and international buyers. AI is on our horizon and we will embrace it when it can help us deliver better. But in the end our story is human, personal and sensory, as much as written. Both crafting and wearing a hat involve touch, feel, sound and sight for the perfect fit and style, senses that digital cannot replace. You need to try on a hat to understand it.’

Jonathan Boston, Managing Director

Man, pictured from the stomach down wearing tailored trousers holding Christys' hat

Five Proudest Moments

  1. In 1773, Miller Christy travels south from Stockport to employ his hat-making skills. On 1 March, in partnership with Joseph Storrs, he started the company in Whitehart Court, London.
  2. In 1850 Prince Albert first wears a Christys’ top hat, popularising the style as an everyday essential for the British gentleman.
  3. From 2017, our Ascot license produces exclusive pieces for the iconic racecourse, with Christys’ making seasonal hat collections for both Ascot and Royal Ascot.
  4. The company’s 250th Anniversary year, 2023, brought a new cap-making production facility, reinvigorating craft skills with new machinery to enable British-made hand-crafted caps alongside our felts and panamas.
  5. This year, we celebrate two of Britain’s oldest makers and specialists in their fields, in a collaboration with Johnstons of Elgin on cashmere caps.

What I’ve Learnt…

  • Guardianship is key but hat-making is more than a heritage brand story: machinery, techniques and people preserve that rarity, a specialist British manufacturer.
  • Alignment. Focus on every element and detail for a clear product, message and direction.
  • Time must play its part: allow the impact of your work and actions to take effect; it’s not always linear or as expected.


Witan Park, Avenue 2, Station Lane Witney, Oxfordshire OX28 4FH

+44 (0)1993 770736