Most famous hatter Mr John
The most famous hatter in 1950s was German born American fashion designer John P. John (1902-1993), who worked under the name Mr John. As stated by “New York Times” in the 1940s and 1950s, Mr. John hats were no less popular than Christian Dior dress. This name is associated with elegance and style. Hollywood studios ordered him hats for stars such as Marlene Dietrich, Greta Garbo and Joan Crawford. Among his clients were the Duchess of Windsor, Lauren Bacall, Gloria Swanson. The most famous work of John for the movie were hats for “Gone With the Wind”, “Gentlemen Prefer Blondes”, and “The Painted Veil”. Ladies of high society, wives of millionaires, actresses, opera singers – all dreamed about his hats. At the peak of his career, John P. John produced annually 16,000 hats under different brand names.
The career of John (then Hans Harberger) began in 1919 with the fact that his family emigrated from his native Germany to the United States. Settling in a new place, his mother opened the hat shop in New York, where John started working as an apprentice. There he learned the basics of hatter business.
In 1929, John opened his business with Frederic Hirst. The shop was called “John Frediriks.” Very soon he became known and popular with fashionistas. In 1948, John formed his own company and called it “Mr. John”, with his own line of hats, jewelry and stockings.
In the 1970s, women’s hats went out of fashion, and John was forgotten, although until his death he continued to create hats for several loyal clients. In his declining years he was fond of saying: “I can not imagine what I would do in the paradise, if get there. I won’t be able to improve halo”.