Some Melin Hats cost $1200 — and they sell out every year.
Melin, according to founders Brian McDonell and Corey Roth, are beyond just accessories people throw on when leaving the house. McDonell and Roth believe that hats are the most critical part of a man’s everyday wardrobe.
“It’s the first thing someone sees when they look at your face and their first impression of your personal style,” the duo wrote on the Melin website.
McDonell and Roth, Southern California natives, noticed that most accessories or statement pieces had luxury brands that focused on their quality and grade. This is why these two visionaries made it their life’s mission to bridge the quality between headwear and the rest of the elegant wardrobe pieces through luxury hats.
In 2013, the pair officially founded the Melin brand. This company supplies high-quality hats made with premium materials with a design inspired by the art of millinery, the craft that the Melin website describes as the bespoke art of hat-making. This sophisticated yet fundamental craft dates back to the 16th century in Milan, Italy.
What is Melin?
Melin is a headwear luxury brand established in 2013. Co-founders McDonell and Roth, who both lived in the Southern region of California, believe that the many cultures that they grew up with inspired the conception of a luxury brand for hats.
“We skated & snowboarded, played baseball & football, and were surrounded by some of the most influential music, art and fashion in the world,” the two explained.
They believed that there is a sophistication beyond hats that’s more than just a favorite team’s logo or an apparel brand that put very little thought into the design and constitution of their headwear.
McDonell and Roth went through the grind of building, enhancing, and evolving caps for four years before unveiling Melin to the market. They took their time researching fabric mills and materials that would make the best product during these years. Their goal: the most comfortable caps they’ve ever worn detailed with innovative designs and premium materials.
Before reaching this level of prevalence, being sold in prominent and premium retailers in South California and beyond, McDonell believes that the opportunity for success in creating luxury headwear was apparent. There was a huge gaping hole in the current accessories market and it was yet to be explored.
Being an enthusiast of shoes, sneakers, watches, sunglasses, and hats, Brian Jellig, Melin’s Chief of Brand, recalled that McDonell noticed that there wasn’t a premium option for hats. Hats were the only ones without luxury brands that heavily focused on breaking the mold among the accessories just listed. He wanted to create something more than just the 25-dollar or 35-dollar cotton or wool blended cap.
The fact that some Melin products cost up to $1200 and still sell out every year is a testament to its quality and constitution.
The Stinger, for example, is made of full-grain bison leather around the front panel and the top visor. The inlay trim is made of stingray material. The undervisor is silky-smooth red suede complete with a built-in signature enamel seal that protects the suede from scuffing.
According to the Melin team itself, The Stinger is the “crown jewel” of their efforts to redefine what a hat is. This success in both market and patronage is the result of Brian and Corey’s quest to create a hat with no restrictions.
The production level for every piece is where Melin clearly stands out. The difference is apparent. With a focus on materials, details, and innovation, the results speak for themselves. Every unique piece has to pass the test on all three aspects of production. These three design points are mandated to be covered in some form or way during evaluation. The team, spearheaded by the dynamic duo of McDonell and Roth themselves, believes that they have been on track with their ethos all throughout their ventures.
Primed from Production
It is Melin’s mission to offer the finest things in life from the most prominent sources in the world. Should Melin use neoprene, they would go through every length possible to secure the material from Japan — a country known for their neoprene production. Melin would brave the seas and find the finest cashmere from Loro Piana if wool is the demand. If leather is the gameplan, Nappa leather is the only choice, famous for being used in luxury cars. Vanchetta accents and polished stingray are also in the varied roster of great options.
Melin’s innovation and ingenuity even go as far as customizing perf shapes and patterns when there’s a need to perforate materials. Through a network of designers nourished through the years, any need for sublimation work is done in Melin’s terms and customization.
McDonell also shared that Melin hats have six signature “design constants” that come in each of their pieces. In an interview with ShopEatSurf, they mentioned the following:
- An 88-point inspection process
- Each hat either comes with or has an optional add-on custom display or travel box.
- Our signature undervisor seal, which is a molded 3-D tab designed for your thumb to preserve your hat’s cleanliness and longevity
- Custom molded trim details
- Interior moisture-wicking lining
- A hidden besom stash pocket
The very best of the Melin brand that does pass the rigorous production standards are divided into three tiers of excellence.
The Melin Red Label Luxury is the top-tier and is the most excellent collection Melin has to offer. The majority of pieces sold in this collection cost at least $1000. Hats produced at this level are limited to only 30 pieces worldwide and use precious metals around the trims and American domestic jewels. Diamonds and sapphires are the usual trimmings Melin utilizes as ornaments.
A tier below is the Melin White Label Limited. Products under this collection are premium and are carefully curated, costing around $280-$500. There are only approximately 300 per style, and materials focus on leather and high-grade fabrics.
The Melin TECH Category is the most affordable headwear collection in the company. It was coined from “Trans Element Capable Headwear” and usually costs $59-$150. These pieces have innovative features such as being H2O compatible, made with premium technical materials, and designed to repel water. They are strengthened with Ballistic Nylon taping and are provided a heavier construction thread to maximize value for customers.
It’s no surprise Melin is all the rage. With the company’s heavy emphasis on quality, detail, and constitution, this one-of-a-kind brand that caters to the uncharted headwear market is destined to reach new heights. Through innovative and unique designs that serve form and function, there is no other way but up.
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