Canadian Hat is a Montreal company specialized in the design and handmade production of hats for all seasons, for both men and women. Its story began in 1908 when brothers Samuel and Felix Leopold, immigrants from Lithuania, started a millinery company called Canadian Hat Frame. The following year, the business changed its name to Canadian Hat Co.
Following Felix Leopold’s retirement in 1947 and Samuel’s death in 1948, Leon Schwartz became president of the company.
In the 1950s, Canadian Hat began exporting its hats to Europe under the André label. It produces hats in a variety of models, using fur, wool, felt and straw.
In 2014, entrepreneur Diane Lanctôt, president of sporting goods and apparel distributor Lanctôt Ltd, purchased Canadian Hat. In January 2017, she also acquired Harricana, a company that recycles old furs into coats and accessories, which was struggling financially. Harricana’s founder, Mariouche Gagné, then became the head designer for both labels, which share a retail store on McGill Street in Montreal.
As of 2018, Canadian Hat employs approximately 100 people at its Jean-Talon Boulevard West headquarters. About 30% of its production is done in its Montreal workshop, while the rest is outsourced to factories outside the country. Its hats are sold in 400 stores in Canada, England, France, the United States, China and Korea.
André label. Photo courtesy of Canadian Hat
Canadian Hat catalogue. Photo courtesy of Canadian Hat
Obituary, Felix Leopold, WWD, July 14, 1955.
Obituary, Samuel Leopold, WWD, Dec. 21, 1948.
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