The Panama Hat Company of the Pacific, Inc. dba Brent Black Panama Hats

The Panama Hat Company of the Pacific, Inc. dba Brent Black Panama Hats

Montecristi Panama Hats custom made for men and women. Everything by hand, as hats were made a hundred years ago. Classic styles, custom sized. Not available in retail stores. $600 - $40,000. Clients in 80 countries.

More of a mission than a business, the company was created in 1988 with the goal to keep alive the almost-extinct hand art of weaving Montecristi "Panama" hats with straws thinner than dental floss. Designated Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity by UNESCO in 2012 (what took them so long?). My tiny foundation supports a weaving school to teach the next generation, provides free eye exams and glasses, medical care, 4000 Covid-19 masks for the village population, etc.

Named to Robb Report Best of the Best list. Only US company featured in the book The Finest Menswear In The World. Subject of a CBS News report, and an hour-long documentary broadcast on 4 continents.

What I thought would be the hands of a surgeon have been sculpting straw instead – for a president, a king, a princess, many Oscar winners, CEOs, rock stars, sports legends, and a lot of other very interesting clients. Are you next? (FYI: I didn't like the princess much, and hope someone put a pea under her mattress.)

Company Industry
Company Type
Company Industry - Other
Fashion + Philanthropy
Company Founded Year
Alumni Name
B. Brent Black
Alumni Email
Alumni School
Krieger School of Arts & Sciences
Alumni Graduating Year