Clayton Hats

“… In 1986, Clayton Patterson and Rensaa began designing and fabricating custom baseball hats which they sold in the storefront at 161 Essex which they branded as Clayton Hats. The idea to make custom hats came from Clayton instructing Ben Booksinger, a cap maker on Avenue A, to embroider around the cap – off the peak. Clayton realized Ben could make a drawing on his old fashioned embroidery machine when he saw Ben make a copy of a Savage Skull Patch and duplicated it as an embroidered patch. Clayton got Booksinger to embroider Clayton designs on the front and on the sides of the cap. Thus the birth of the Clayton cap- the first designer branded baseball cap. The Clayton cap was the first baseball cap to have the embroidery all around the cap, and had the first signature and label on the outside of the cap. An embroidered signature on a repeated design, and a hand signed label for the custom one-of-a-kind designed caps. As Booksinger gradually retired from manufacturing, Patterson and Rensaa took up the business of embroidering their own designs on hand made hats with a 100-year-old Bonis embroidery machine. The hats, designed by Patterson and made by Rensaa, were immediately popular with artists and were picked up by Elle and GQ. The GQ article by Richard Merkin, named Clayton Hats as one of the two best baseball hats made in America. Some of Clayton Hats’ notable customers included artists Jim Dine and David Hockney, actor Matt Dillon, directors Gus Van Sant and Rob Reiner, the Pet Shop Boys, and Mick Jagger, for whom they designed a custom jacket back piece. …”
W – Clayton Patterson: Clayton hats
Clayton Patterson Brings Back the Clayton Cap With a Little Help From His Friends
Elie: Clayton Patterson Welcomes the Public to His ‘Outlaw Art Museum’
on Essex Street After 10-Year Absence


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