Q&A // meet The dutch hatter

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Armando Kitoko (29), The Dutch Hatter
Job title: co-owner

What is it you do?
“I am co-owner of the Dutch Hatter. We sell handmade hats and since two weeks we also have our own shoe collection. Our brand is a mix of African elegance inspired by the ‘20s – the ‘60s. Together this results in a very personal and unique mix: The Dutch Hatter.”

How would you describe the style of your brand?
“Dandy and casual with influences from the African culture as well as from influencers we nowadays see in the street scene.”

Where does your passion for fashion and creating fashion originate?
“That mainly comes from my grandpa. He used to wear hats and has a very strong, distinctive and personal style. He always looked perfectly well-groomed, dandy and unique. His style was fantastic and very inspiring. Because of him I started remodelling clothing from a very young age, customizing items and I indulged myself in styling.”

Have you seen a change in the fashion industry in the last couple of years?
“Yes, I definitely do. There are more and more young people getting involved in the fashion industry. Furthermore, a lot of brands dare to combine colours, the same goes for prints. The fashion industry is very competitive. Therefore, I try not to focus too much on other brands. I want to focus on my own style, roots and inspiration sources.”

What does a good hat mean to you?
“Quality, shape, colour, something special and definitely not too ordinary.”

What clothing piece is worth the investment for you?
“A winter coat! A coat you can combine with everything, it finalises your outfit.”

Which fashion advice would you give to a younger version of yourself?
“That’s a good question! Back in the days I might have taken the opinions of others a bit too much to heart. Nowadays, I do not really pay attention to what others are wearing and I do not follow the trends. I shop everywhere, I combine cheap and expensive items and I create my own style. You should do whatever it is that you like and dare to follow your heart while doing so.”