Millennials are super into hats right now. Chance The Rapper is literally never NOT wearing a hat, baseball caps have been dubbed “the new mom jeans” by Refinery29 and Who What Wear blessed baseball hats with a new title, “the dad hat trend“. Our Notable Young Professional from earlier this week, fashion blogger Chloé Dumont, said the only thing you should buy this spring is a hat.
Nailing the dad hat trend is contingent upon one key thing: not being cool. The whole look says, “I don’t care, I’m just wearing a hat I found on the top shelf of my dad’s closet”, and putting absolutely no effort into styling it. Millennials are obsessed with the dad hat trend because it’s way cooler to not be precious and concerned with your image. It’s why part of Gigi Hadid‘s cool-girl vibe comes down to a New York Yankees hat, unbrushed hair and #allblackeverything.
The dad hat trend situation is funny because, traditional dad brands want to find out out how to appeal to Millennial consumers so they can stay in business and, little do they know, they already are and don’t really need to change. Tilley is actually a great example of a dad brand that is working on change with marketing strategy when they may not need to.
Tilley is a Canadian brand that you probably know as the manufacturer of your grandpa’s fishing hat, and the wide brimmed fedora your dad wears canoeing. Tilley is working on renovating its brand image to appeal to a Millennial demographic so they can stay in business for a long time, long after our dads and grandpas have moved on — makes sense. Tilley is marketing to Millennials by promoting their fedoras, baseball caps, wool beanies and winter toques that we can wear everywhere from Wayhome to the aprés ski at Whistler Blackcomb.
Tilley is taking a turn at being trendy but we want the Canadian brand to know it can stick to its classic roots, and we’ll still love it. Perhaps Canadian Millennials need to be woke to Tilley’s brand story with an emphasis on design and technology, and all the good bits that make a Tilley hat functional. So long as we give no f*cks, Tilley will have a place on the top shelves of Millennials’ closets.
Tilley has a new CEO, Andrew Prendergast who is the former general manager of New Balance Canada. In 2015, Tilley was acquired by Re:Capital.