We’re delighted to announce this contest hosted by 40 independent retail partners in 40 cities across the U.S. as part of an effort to fight summer boredom with style, self-expression, and creativity. It’s a fun and easy way to beat the summer blues with something considerably more colorful.
Contestants 18 years of age and older are invited to enter their original coachman hat designs to be judged based on their use of the elope hat style, creativity, overall effect, and crowd appeal. Entrants must bring their creation to the closest participating retail store to be eligible for $1850 in cash and prizes.
Coachman hats rose to popularity in the Victorian era as a variety of top hat that balanced style and a lower profile than traditional top hats. As a mid-range hat, it occupied a comfortable space between the loftiest headwear of the upper class and the sensible, hard-working bowler or derby styles worn by members of the working class.
elope CEO Kevin Johnson loves the coachman hat as an example of millinery tradition that still speaks to modern consumers. “Our coachman hats are hand blocked hats, the way hats have been made since Saint Clemente,  the patron saint of hat making, made them 2000 years ago. They’re rugged, which means they’re great for so much more than just one night of costuming,” says Johnson, a lifelong costume enthusiast.  “We’ve seen a surge in coachman popularity driven by the steampunk trend. Our Colossal Coachman Contest dares people to see just how far they can push their creativity using our whimsical wearables, whether they’re into steampunk, sci-fi, robotics, rainbows, comic book heroes, or any other genre.”
“We love costuming and creating original designs. Our goal with this contest is to share that DIY and maker sensibility with our retailers,” said Johnson. “We want to inspire creative costume parties that are about fun and friends – and not just on Halloween!”
The grand prize winner will be announced on or around August 19, 2015. Full details on local events and national contest rules are available at elope.com/colossal.