East + West Creates New STL Hats

In Style
Photo courtesy of East + West

Photo courtesy of East + West

Every major city has its wardrobe staple of civic pride. Much like New York has its “I Heart NY” memorabilia and Kansas City has the iconic KC hat, Brian Simpson, owner of East + West, wanted to create an accessory that celebrates where St. Louis has been and where the city is now. The product: A cool cap that’s a wearable celebration and statement of city pride—plus, it’s pretty stylish.

We sat down with Simpson, to get the scoop on his inspiration behind the design of the new STL-branded staple and learn about his take on St. Louis men’s style. Here’s what he had to say.

What gave you the idea to make the hats?

Brian Simpson: Over time we want to continue to introduce unique items to our shop but also things that represent our city well. Ever since I was a little kid, you could catch me most days wearing some sort of hat. While a good hat is still a staple item in my wardrobe, I wanted to develop something that you could wear in many environments, not just a sporting event.

Any relevance with the timing of these and STL’s 250th birthday?

Simpson: I would love to say yes, but to be honest the timing was more a coincidence based on the manufacturing time.

What was your inspiration behind the STL hats? Did you take a note of inspiration from the Baldwin guys’ KC hats while coming up with your design?

Simpson: We’re big fans of Baldwin and it’s well represented at our shop, but there’s no correlation between the hats (Although, I do own a few KC hats myself!). The inspiration for the hats came more from the history of STL. We modeled the hat off of the early 1940s St. Louis Cardinals hats but changed it up a bit by adding the Fleur De Lis. We wanted something that represented our city well but also had a clean, modern look.

What do you think is the style personality (or personalities) of guys here?

Simpson: It really depends on the guy and their lifestyle to be honest. St. Louis is such a melting pot for different cultures that on any given day I see guys who look like they’re from all different parts of the country.

Speaking of which, what’s your favorite aspect of St. Louis men’s style?

Simpson: Many guys here not only have great style but appreciate the quality/craftsmanship/longevity of the different items they own. It’s great seeing people take pride in the functionality of an item, not just the style of it.

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