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I’m convinced that hat lovers are born, not made. I mean the kind who buys a hat and then actually remembers to wear it. No shade, but if we’re being completely honest, hat lovers are always just a little bit cooler than the rest of us.

So imagine being the team behind Hats Greatest Hits — starting life as an Instagram page and morphing into a lid-lovers revolution. Simple in concept, genius in design, and the work of very cool brother duo, Dom and Billy.

“If you told me four years ago that I’d be leading a 35,000 strong national social activist movement of hat enthusiasts, and running a major custom cap operation, I’d probably say you were out of your mind,” Dom told PTV. “But here we are.” So how does one get into the hat influencer business? We spoke to Dom to get the full lowdown on his life’s passion.

PTV: How did you come up with the idea for Hats Greatest Hits?

Dom: “For the past 15 years, I’ve had a SERIOUS [love for] op-shopping (legit it’s a problem, A Current Affair could do one of their classic hoarder segments on my house, piles of lids spewing out of every cupboard).

I noticed that there were heaps of awesome old hats from iconic Australian brands that people never seemed to buy – especially my fave 90s corduroy caps – so I started collecting them. Pretty soon I had a solid collection of a couple thousand.

I’d always had this idea of starting an Instagram page where I put up the same style of photo every day, so one day my brother and a few mates decided to upload photos in my fave hats alongside captions featuring weird made-up yarns about a mid-50’s boomer dad.

A week or so after we launched, Pedestrian.TV ran an article on us and it just all blew up. Thousands of fellow lid lovers from across Australia flocked to the page”.

PTV: What does Hats Greatest Hits do, besides taking us on a trip down memory lane?

Dom: “We started coordinating people power campaigns against iconic Aussie brands to convince them to bring back the classic caps of the golden era in the early-to-mid 90s. Basically, we ask our followers which company to target – like Vegemite, Weet-Bix and Bunnings – and then mock up a corduroy cap we want them to make.

We then direct our followers to flood the target brands Instagram page comments section to fill it with blue hat emojis – which they do by the tens of thousands. Turns out if a few thousand punters bombard a company’s comments section, they generally fold pretty quickly. After a while brands started reaching out to me to make hats for them, so we decided to have a crack at making caps ourselves.

Next minute, we’ve got our own original lid label and online store, we’re designing, producing and selling a full range of sweet Australiana themed hats, we’re collaborating with some of our favourite bands, and we’re working directly with a stack of brands, businesses and sports teams to make them custom cord caps”.

TV: Where do you get inspiration for hat designs?

Dom: “I’m passionate about classic Australian design, particularly from the late-80s to mid-90s. This was when there were still lots of local merch producers using pre-digital design techniques – it has a human touch and timelessness you don’t see in modern corporate design.

For my own original hats, I like to get nostalgic – things like the Sydney 2000 Olympics, beer brands and old school tourist merch. I’ve been rolling out a series called ‘Hometown Hats’ dedicated to my favourite cities and places – so far I’ve done Newy, Brissy, Canberra and the Great Barrier Reef.

When I’m working with a business, my number one rule is to keep it simple – slap the brands’ logo on the front of a quality cord and their slogan across the back. People want to represent the classic brands that they have a connection with”.

PTV: What’s your favourite hat creation so far?

Dom: “If I had to pick one, it would be the collab I did with the Brissy band Bugs – not only is it an absolutely incredible piece of Aussie music merch, but we also donated all the profits to the First Nation youth arts organisation Digi Youth Arts, who do really amazing work supporting up and coming Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander artists.

Besides that, a few of my all-time faves include a recent collab with Spacey Jane… and my Great Barrier Reef hat covered in embroidered fish and coral.

We Grilled The 'Hats Greatest Hits' Brother Duo On Their Best Designs & What's Coming Next

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After a while, brands started reaching out to me to make hats for them, so we decided to have a crack at making caps ourselves.

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PTV: What about any highly requested designs you haven’t done yet?

Dom: “One springs to mind: Toyota Land Cruiser. We ran a big campaign last year to convince Toyota to do it, and they promised they would but nothing so far”.

PTV: What’s the best part about working in a brothers duo?

Dom: “It’s actually pretty sweet. We live together, so we can strategise and dream up our next projects over bowls of Mi Goreng… on the couch each night. Actually, now that I think of it add Mi Goreng and El Toro Macho to the list of hats I want to make. Although, the style of photos we’ve become known for requires a lot of patience and very specific lighting to get the perfect shot, so we can crack the shits with each other [if that’s not going well]”.

PTV: What can we expect next from Hats Great Hits?

Dom: “I’ve recently teamed up with some truly iconic Australian brands which I’m beyond excited about. I can’t say too much right now, but I promise you they’re going to absolutely shake the foundations of this country’s cap game”.

There you have it, living proof that you can absolutely turn your passion into a career. You’ve gotta dream big then chase it, right?

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