Our Founders

Cappello was co-founded by Texas based entrepreneurs, Catherine Bankston and Erin Rabenhorst Davis. As mothers of young children, life’s changes continually brought the duo outdoors. After years of exposure to damaging rays, both developed an appreciation and need for sun protection. 

Always on the go, the two were always searching for a sun hat that was the right combination of beautiful craftsmanship, polished sophistication and style. However, during their search for the right hat, they always found they were sacrificing one aspect of the mix. Cappello is the result of many years of searching for the perfect hat. Catherine and Erin have meticulously designed pieces that look and feel effortless when you put them on, not to mention provide plentiful protection from the sun. Each hat is certified at UPF 50+ and blocks 95% of the sun's harmful UV rays. 

Cappello’s name, which means hat in Italian, was chosen to join the sophistication of Italy with the craftsmanship of Ecuador. Inspired by their appreciation for one of a kind pieces, they made the decision to elevate each hat using vintage and European inspired ribbons. Cappello’s hallmark is their precise craftsmanship along with their collection of exquisite finishes.

These handwoven masterpieces are as unique as the artisans who create them as no two Cappello hats are exactly alike. Cappello was created to elevate your style while protecting something priceless…your skin!

 Weaving Process

Cappello hats are created using Toquilla straw from the Carludovica Palmata plant that is native to Central America. The quality of the hat is derived from the tightness and finesse of the weave. The leaves are thinly cut by hand to make the fibers for each hat. They are then boiled, bleached and dried so the artisans can begin the weaving process. The fiber is braided into an intricate pattern until a finished hood is produced. Each hat is woven by a single weaver and takes anywhere from 10-12 hours to complete. Cappello’s artisans have been chosen for their commitment to this centuries old tradition of weaving Toquilla straw by hand. Weavers use the rose pattern to begin every hat- to recognize a genuine Panama hat just look at the top.

Toquilla straw is weather resistant and provides natural UV protection. The straw allows each hat to be flexible and durable during wear. Because of the natural fibers, our custom dyed colors will transform and change slightly over time. Due to the handwoven pattern and the natural dye, each hat is considered one of a kind.

Each Cappello hat is truly a work of art.

Cappello - Seek the Shade