Managing a vintage hat sales platform in 2023? The idea may seem absurd as headgear has deserted the streets, but no matter, Cyril Rahon fully embraces his passion for this niche fashion. Since 2020, this former ready-to-wear buyer for a Parisian department store, who has become a collection director, has been hunting hats in his spare time, surveying the auction rooms and flea markets of his native Provence.
He has thus brought together around 250 pieces, directly put up for sale on his Instagram account, baptized “Atours”, as well as in ephemeral shops. “I was rocked by the parades of the 1980s and in particular those of Yves Saint Laurent, where the hat was a key element of the silhouette. It’s an accessory of crazy diversity. What I like in this game of buying and collecting is the heritage dimension: I participate in the conservation of an endangered object”, explains Cyril Rahon, who only bargains for favorite pieces.
It offers both beautiful accessories and decorative objects – a tulle balaclava embroidered with a Claude Montana mini-beret, a Jean Barthet straw hat – as well as specimens that are completely wearable today, such as this Cristóbal Balenciaga felt fascinator, this orange Christian Dior bucket hat, this Yves Saint Laurent wool and leather headscarf or this Madame Paulette silk muslin turban. Each model competes in elegance.
If most of the pieces are signed by great fashion designers, Cyril Rahon also collects non-designer hats with always this taste for pure and graphic lines: straw beret, delicate plumetis veil, raffia cloche hat… “I don’t like dated things, I look for contemporaneity in each model. But China is complicated, because it is very difficult to find hats in good condition that I like,” underlines the one that makes you want to put your hat on again.