Anthony Peto — a charming chapelier who jets between ateliers in South Anne Street and Central Paris — commenced his career as a London art editor. An appreciation for artisanal craft has forever characterised his creative mindset, but it was only a matter of time before he stopped talking about masterpieces and started making them.
Peto set up his Parisian shop “on a whim” some 27 years ago, expecting little more than to fabricate a few hats, but his fledging business landed at the perfect moment: fashion consumers and critics alike were suddenly hankering after headgear, particularly in Paris, and Peto saw a chance to champion his made-to-measure hats in an (as yet) unsaturated market, catering to older and young clientele in equal abundance. He spearheaded the donning of fedoras — now ubiquitous with most mens’ fashion weeks — in a manner entirely fresh to late 20th-century onlookers, preceding their Instagram-age explosion in popularity.
The desire to connect with a city that still boasted some community spirit, coupled with persistently-itchy feet, drew him to Dublin several years ago: the securing of both a hat shop (officially opened in late 2015) and a house swiftly followed. Peto’s technical prowess typifies each new collection, the latter feasted upon by individualistic dressers, but his artistic influences are chameleon-like — continually shifting and shaped by his frequent travels. He is undoubtedly defined by his usage of colour, however, steering clear of drab shades in favour of more Mediterranean hues. This month marks his umpteenth return to Pitti Uomo (June 11-14), a week of “life-enhancing experiences” permanently stamped on the mens’ fashion calendar.
Showcased in Florence twice a year, this trade-fair-meets-sartorial-extravaganza is famed for its Peacocks (i.e the impeccably-clad men who attend), many of whose heads have been embellished by Peto. Keep an especially close eye out for Niamh O’Donoghue and Jake McCabe, seasoned Pitti frequenters from Dublin who have collaborated with Peto over the last few seasons: their latest batch of soon-to-be-revealed bespoke hats, inspired by an extensive trip to the Far East, are set to be truly spectacular.
Words: Amelia O’Mahiony Brady