Authentically Selling “Heritage”

Authentically Selling “Heritage”

Tom Smarte was a family-run hatmaker founded in the late 18th century in Devon, England. Yet after the fourth Thomas Smarte died in the First World War, the brand lay silent until 2013 when Allon Zloof decided to revive it. As a designer hatmaker himself, he knew what needed to be done to bring the brand back.

Highlights:

  • The keys to selling a long-storied but long-sleeping heritage brand
  • The trouble with offering a high-quality product in a market of low-quality competitors
  • An alternative to advertising: How to win new customers with collaborations
About Our Guest

Allon Zloof

Following in the footsteps of his father, grandfather and great grandfather, Allon Zloof is part of the latest generation of hat makers. Though he was raised learning the finer details of the craft, Allon chose to study law. He became a solicitor in the mid-1990s before returning to his fashion roots, first as CEO at an international clothing accessories firm, then setting up his own company in 2001.

In late 2013, Allon revived Tom Smarte, a heritage brand of men’s hats with origins dating back to the 18th century, fulfilling his passion to preserve classic hat making skills and great attention to detail. His inspiration stems from the original Thomas Smarte who first made hats in Devon, England in the 1780s with his apprentice Robert Maynard. By adapting heritage designs, Allon has created a unique contemporary style, tailored to withstand the rigours of daily life.

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