Lone Rider designer fedora hat WLTM adventurous soul for exciting adventures

The Lone Rider designer Fedora hat by Vera Black

I am a Vera Black Lone Rider designer fedora hat. I am brimming with lust for adventure and I refuse to be left on the shelf. I would like to meet a lone rider soulmate to wear me on their adventures so we can reach our full bad ass potential together. Looks, age, ethnicity, sexuality and musical taste are all irrelevant to me; you just need to dance to your own tune and have a desire for freedom. I am available in all sizes.

I am proud not to be a cheap date. As a Vera Black designer fedora hat I am a class act and am completely worth it. With that said, I will totally put out, (or should that be put on?) on the first date.

My Vera Black designer fedora hat qualifications

Vera has made me out of brown felt in the Vera Black classic fedora design with her trademark star-stitching on the front. She started with an embossed stretch black fabric hat band with a faux leather black cord. This is decorated with black onyx and tiger eye stone pendants. My most dazzling feature is my pheasant and rooster feather combination finished off with a silver and gold feather concho. This is all completed with an anchor and feather charms at the back of the hat.

I am best suited to an adventurer who likes to go it alone, to forge their own path in life. The road less travelled is my spiritual home; and wherever some lays me down, that’s my home. Just make sure it’s not next to your smelly socks – I’m a designer fedora hat remember!

I am not for the faint-hearted. You will attract attention when you wear me. We will turn heads together, passers-by will start conversations. Although you will have to get used to them complimenting me more than you. But hey, it is a good way to meet new people. I’m an excellent wingman if you’re looking for love. But If you need to escape you can draw my brim down over your eyes and make a classy exit.

So swipe me and let’s head off into the sunset together. You never know what dawn may bring, or where we may be.

Click here to see my profile, but be quick, I won’t hang around forever! 

Or you think I am not quite your type (too bad-ass for you maybe?) you can see a range of other Vera Black designer hats here.

Introducing our Rebirth Fedora Collaboration with Oritsé Williams

Rebirth Fedora hat with Oritsé Williams

Our Rebirth fedora hat has been designed and created by singer/songwriter and  founding member of pop group JLS Oritsé Williams.  Inspired by the legend of the phoenix rising from the ashes it is a celebration of life after adversity. This stunning fedora represents empowerment, courage and inner strength. 

See our fashion video shot by Vera’s ferociously talented brother Denson Baker featuring Oritsé and the Rebirth Fedora.

The features of the Rebirth fedora

This killer fedora has a printed phoenix silk fabric with a suede band featuring tiger’s eye and red coral. It is made of black wool felt that is hand scorched for a true fiery distressed look and is detailed with a classic phoenix conch, compass concho and three stunning pheasant feathers.


It is available in small, medium and large sizes. Perfect for you if you want a re-start, a change in direction, or looking to create a new bad ass look that will give you confidence and the edge you have been looking for.

Check out our Rebirth fedora here.

The many Vera Black fedora hats of Oritsé Williams

Oritsé is no stranger to Vera Black as he has been styled by Shelina Somani Lewis who loves our designs of hats and accessories. Oritsé is often seen in his El Capitan fedora, which was featured in his collaboration (see below) with Harley Davidson. He wore another Vera Black Hat for his Bridal Editorial with KUSH Magazine, but most notably he was seen wearing our Rose Sunset fedora in his beautiful wedding to Kazz Kumar in Jamaica featured in HELLO Magazine. So it was an obvious joint decision for Vera and Oritsé to collaborate on a hat design.

Oritsé Williams wearing the El Capitan fedora in a photo shoot for Harley Davidson

Ambassador Interview: Joseph Lynn – Photographer and director with the mantra ‘Do it now and learn from it’

The Dandy Mini Top Hat

I first met Joseph Lynn at a party Vera and Luke threw for their son Bobby’s first birthday at Primrose Hill in London. It was a scorching hot day and London seemed torn between partying in the sun and just surviving the heat. Finding the Vera Black group was easy. I just found the group of people who looked like rock stars! 

I was introduced to a number of fun and very talented creative people. Aside from Olivia who I have interviewed before, I had only met Vera and Luke. But after a quick chat with Joe it already felt like I had met a new friend. We didn’t agree on everything, but there was a creative energy that bounced out of him as he stood in front of me in his fedora hat and a broad smile.

The next time we met was not in the company of birthday boys, rock stars and models, but on a Zoom call. Joe was just as warm and funny as before, but it wasn’t until I transcribed our interview that I discovered just how fast he talks. So if you want the real Joseph Lynn experience try reading this at double speed!

Luke often describes Joe as a brother so I asked Joe when they first met.

“I distinctly remember meeting Luke. It was about nine years ago at the Southbank Christmas markets in London. There were lots of little stores there, but a lot of the stuff was tat really, or just uninteresting. And then I saw Luke’s stall and thought ‘Wow, this is so cool!’ I instantly fell in love with what they make and I couldn’t help but verbalise this to Luke. That I had been looking for stuff like this my whole life. I’ve been re-appropriating items to feel like this, and yet you’re doing exactly this. You’re hitting it right on the head, the right amalgamation of interest and aesthetics into one accessory.

“I still hear people saying this when they discover Vera Black, which is why they are so special. They are filling this gap which so many people want, and no-one else is doing it. I spent what student loan I had on accessories and spent about an hour talking to Luke. As anyone who shows any interest will know, Vera and Luke give you the whole story: how they got there; what they have done; their music career; people they’ve worked with and people they are interested in.

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Luke in the Vera Black stall in Camden.

“But there was absolutely no aspect of him that felt like he was selling. He just seemed to love talking to like-minded people. By the end I was just enamoured with him and the work. I gave him my contact details just in case there was anything we could do together and I kept in touch on social media. I think they were interested in me because I looked like someone who would wear their stuff and I was working with interesting people. At the time I was doing everything I could: self-shooting, videography, editing, anything! 

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Vera and Luke centre, with Olivia on the left and Gene Clark on the right.

“I ended up helping them with a fashion shoot in Portobello Road. But it didn’t feel like a product shoot. More like a lifestyle, all encompassing shoot. Everything fuelled the piece. They turned up in their iconic van and rolled out with this pile of clothes, and they were swapping jackets and trying things on. It was very rough around the edges and I was making it up as I went along, but it was great fun and they really liked it. From there we collaborated every six months or so.”

hombre fedora hat
Musicians Jade like the stone and Lewis Floyd Henry wearing Vera Black

Joseph Lynn’s big advice? Fail on someone else’s time!

Joe moved to London from Manchester so he could meet artists, creatives and people he felt spiritually akin to, and Vera and Luke helped him develop his skills.

“I look back and think ‘Wow, there really were some people who really let me fail on their time!’ I was 19 and I wasn’t super confident or anything, but I said, ‘I’d love to do this’. Sometimes things didn’t go right, but these people liked me and trusted me enough. I wasn’t even that good! 

“Without these experiments I wouldn’t have improved as a visual artist. They let me in and let me work with them and I don’t know if they just thought I’d get better, or if they were just super generous with their time. They were never critical and they didn’t pressure me. It was all about collaboration. It was never like a job, it was more like, let’s hang out and make this.

“I think it’s great that every year or so we’ll get back together and do something in some capacity. The last thing I actually did was the stills for the Sleepy Hollow fashion film that Denson (Baker) shot.

“Luke describes me as a brother, but he and Vera are also my unofficial mentors. We’re always talking about doing stuff, there’s always something spinning around. I hope they will keep making stuff with me for the rest of our lives.”

Festival hat scene from the Vera Black Sleepy Hollow fashion film
Love look from Sleepy Hollow fashion film by Vera Black
The Sleepy Hollow Top Hat by Vera Black
The Nighthawk black Fedora hat
The Vamp Top hat by Vera Black

A selection of Joe’s stills from the Vera Black  Sleepy Hollow fashion film. You can buy the look on our site at verablack.com

group photo for Sleepy hollow fashion film by Vera Blackfilm , Vera Black Custom Designs

How did you end up taking photos of famous people for a living?

A quick look through Joe’s Instagram account shows a selection of portraits of actors pulling unusual poses in urban settings. I wanted to know how he ended up taking photos of famous people for a living.

“This links back to having people who trusted me and let me work on their time. As well as Luke and Vera there was Noel Fielding, the comedian, actor and artist. I met him soon after moving to London. He was just turning 40 and I was just turning 20. I’m quite mature for my age and he is quite immature for his age, so we probably both met at about 30! I did some behind the scenes stuff for his TV show. It was a complete fluke. I bumped into him in a pub and he said “Come and do this!” He was just being polite and he was drunk! When I turned up he looked at me and said, ‘Oh yeah, shit. Okay.’

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Noel Fielding

“I was really rough around the edges but I think he liked my potential and the energy I put into it. He took me on tour with him and we shared a studio for a bit. I was very insecure about the work I was making then. He helped me. He told me to work on specific points and what I needed to get better on. But he never said ‘Look you’re not really very good’. He just let me make mistakes with him. 

“Noel was the crux of pretty much everything because I met lots of other famous or interesting people when I was working with him. They assumed I knew what I was doing and would ask me to do stuff for them. That was the start of it. Now as an aspiring director, I work with a lot of actors. I have a lot of friends who are actors and they are doing successful things. So I do their press shots for them and they have friends of friends who see that and want to work with me.” 

So how did this lead to Joe making actors do strange things in the streets?

“Ironically I started to do this just as lockdown was happening. I was enjoying portraiture, but it was very controlled, with a backdrop and lots of light. I was trying so hard to learn and create stuff that I wasn’t trying to make a bond with the subject. They were more like a prop. I worked out that I needed to spend an hour with a camera and an actor and come away with four or five really good shots.”

Joe started to do a series of black and white portraits of people outside, using only natural light. Due to covid he had to create a connection with the actor from a distance and make the image interesting through emotion or movement.”

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Actor, Adam Gillen

“Working like this with actors can be 50/50. They are usually open, free, physical people with a lot of energy. A lot of them come from a dancing background so they are good at physically presenting themselves. They often don’t need much persuading to do something different. Actors who have a bit of a profile are often bored of headshots that make them look smouldering or handsome. They want something that makes them look a bit more fun. 

“But some actors are very protective of their image. It can be tricky, especially if we only met an hour ago, to make them feel comfortable enough to do something unusual. I try to get around this by doing a lot of talking. I’ll tell them that I want them to do something that might feel a bit weird, but will look great. And we’ll put it in the bin if they don’t like it. It’s important to give them the right to veto. I only want to do this if the subject is going to love it.” 

I ask Joe for the story behind this fantastic photo of the actress Katherine McNamara doing the splits in Soho.

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A post shared by Joseph Lynn (@joelynntw)

“Kat is a good friend of mine. I basically said, ‘Wear this. We’ll go to Soho. We’ll work out what to do’. On the shoot I discovered she is a dancer and that she could do the splits. But it’s not just the actors who look silly. I’m right there with them. I was lying down on a dirty road opposite her with my camera, telling her to shout if she sees a car coming!”

I ask Joe if he is ever worried about the light being too poor to get a really stunning shot.

“It’s not so much if the light doesn’t work, it’s more about the location. I tend to ask the actor to choose a spot they have always liked or that they have a connection with. I’ll visit the spot and take a few photos to get a few ideas to get us started. But they’re never the ones we end up using. 

“Sometimes I don’t like the location, but I always have faith that something random will happen. The subject will say something like ‘I can do this jump,’ like Kat told me that she can do the splits, and all of a sudden we have something interesting.”



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Actor Eilidh Loan

Is being friendly a core skill for a portrait photographer?

I point out to Joe that he was very friendly and approachable when I met him at the party. I asked if he is naturally like this, or whether it has developed as one of his core skills as a portrait photographer.

“Maybe! My natural personality has been informed by many years of doing what I do. As a freelancer I am doing something different every week. Sometimes I will get thrown into a room with 30 people I haven’t met before and I’ve got to make a decent impression pretty instantly. These atmospheres are usually quite tense, there are a lot of moving parts. You really can’t get in the way. So I’ve become good at being quiet, but polite and good at talking to people. 

“Weirdly I also think I’ve become quite good at talking to people like plumbers when they come round, and with strangers in a pub. I suppose it all revolves around being genuinely interested in people.” 

When doing portrait photography there is often a conflict between the subject’s desire to look young and attractive and the need for the interest that lines and even wrinkles provide. I asked Joe how he balances this in a world where ‘youth’ is power.



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Writer/Actor Sarah Kendall

“This is interesting as the photos we like of ourselves don’t look like us. They tend to be a slightly better version of us, maybe one we see in the mirror when we get ready. However, a really good friend will probably say ‘Oh no, that doesn’t look like you, you don’t look good in that’. Whereas they will love a photo that shows us as we really are – how they see us all the time. 

“99 percent of people hate having their photograph taken and I understand that. I hate it too! I’m often asked to touch up photos that I take before they are published. Especially for on-line images or for magazines and it can be frustrating. Sometimes I really love the original images, especially in black and white, because of the definition that lines or features, such as a mole, bring to the image. I had to edit one client’s face so much it looked like a blank baby’s face and their management team loved it! I actually find blank, pale faces boring. I’m so not interested in shooting young beautiful models. The craggier the face, the better!

“My favourite part is when my subject says, ‘Yeah, you’ve captured me’. Even when it’s not the perfect version of themself they want to see. But you have to be sensitive too, especially when it is a famous person.”

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Comedian and actor Julian Barratt

Joseph Lynn the director

I asked Joe how he got into directing and how different is it from being a photographer

“I guess I always wanted to make films but I didn’t know you could do it as a job! I’m one of four kids; my family didn’t have a lot of money. We wouldn’t go on holiday, do days out or eat out very much. The one thing we had, being kids of the ‘90’s, was VHS tapes. We were allowed a little telly with a built-in VHS in our bedroom. So I have been inundated with sound and image since a child.

“When I was about 13 it became clear that there was a job called the director and the director makes the film. So I resolved to try and do that. The only thing remotely close to film-making at school was drama and I can’t act for shit, but I did it. Then I did film studies in college and university and I loved learning about film. 

“I moved from Manchester to London because that was where they made TV; it’s where they film Dr Who! My association with places always revolves around films that I love. When I went to Florence I scouted out all the filming locations from Ridley Scott’s Hannibal. I’m going to New York in April so I am literally making plans around film locations!

“As a student I was trying everything. I did a lot of self-shooting documentary stuff and I made silly short films and sketches with my friends. But when I moved to London I was on my own. So I borrowed a camera and thought, ‘I can shoot out, I can’t film in, but I can shoot out’. I was asking musicians and comedians if I could film them and I ended up circling through to Noel that way. 

“I directed my first short film when I was 23 for Channel 4 called Swan Song. It featured Noel Fielding as an angel in a wheelchair at the end of his life. Channel 4 had some funding for young directors via their platform Random Acts. It is a very moody, movement film.

“We shot that at the same time that my Grandma, who I was very close to, was dying. The day after we finished shooting I had to go to Manchester for her funeral. So there was a lot of emotions that were linked to what I was watching through with my Grandma in hospital”

Joe followed Swan Song with a number of other short films: Grin where people who can’t cope with the monotony of life have to wear grins painted on their faces, and Drown about a man who struggles to cope with the death of his partner. I wondered whether this dark element was an ongoing theme to Joe’s work as a director.

“Those first three films happened in a succession of two years and they were me wanting to work with those people – Martin Quinn, Noel and the people in that clown film. It was where my visual style was at the time. I was also working with sound designers and movie directors whose stuff always leans that way, so it felt like an easier aesthetic or mood to achieve than levity. However, I always try to challenge the things I am comfortable with and since then I’ve been trying to write straight forward comedy. My latest film Mint Chocolate Chip is doing the festival circuit and it is extremely colourful.”

What is the ideal next step with your film making?

I plan to make a feature film this year, entirely on my terms, I don’t mean that no one is going to interrupt my vision. I mean it purely as the only way I can afford to do this is to do it super DIY, with my small group of people. Without trying to raise money or apply for funding as that takes so much time.” 

Any advice for people starting out in your line of work?

“Just do stuff and learn from it and move on. By the time I’ve finished my feature film I’m going to know how to make a much better one. Some people are so scared that their filmmaking won’t be good enough that they don’t actually start it. It won’t be good enough yet. But if it’s 10 percent of what you wanted it to be, the next time it will be 15 and the next 20 percent. You have to start somewhere. 

“This is even more true with photography as it is so instant. You’ve got an iphone, just go and do it. The moment I do something, I love throwing it over my shoulder. I don’t tinker. This is why retouching pisses me off. I just want to throw it out there and move on. I’m always eager to finish something, so I can learn from it and be better next time. I don’t dwell, or over think it. I’d rather just shoot it and move on.

“Stop trying to be the best person now. You’re not going to be. You’ve got time!”

Joe’s portraits are currently on show at the Maison Bertaux Gallery on Greek Street in Soho, London in his exhibition called Finding Colour. You can buy signed prints from this exhibition here.

Full contact details for Joe and examples of his work can be found on his web site here.

Joe’s film Mint Chocolate Chip has just won Best Comedy Short at this year’s New Renaissance Film Festival 


Our other Vera Black Ambassador interviews include: 

UK King of the slide guitar Troy Redfern.

Smoky blues and Americana artist Elles Bailey

International model and face of Vera Black Olivia Harriet.

Brand new up and coming Americana artist Lloyd McGuigan.

Plus our first book review, for the astonishing Seek the Singing Fish novel by Roma Wells.

Win a unique £500 Vera Black custom designed hat!

The limited edition Black Stallion gambler hat by Vera Black

We’re giving away the chance to have your very own Vera Black custom designed hat worth £500! Vera will consult with you and design and create your very own fedora or gambler hat. Vera has designed kick ass hats for lots of celebrities and musicians – so why not you?

All you have to do is sign up for our newsletter and we’ll pick the lucky winner on the 10th of March at the London C2C Show.

If you’re already subscribed to our newsletter you’ve already been entered into the competition! You’ll also know that subscribers are the first to hear about our brand new designs and our sales. However, we pride ourselves on on our creative community and we also have in-depth interviews with some of the fantastic people we work with.

So far this has included:

UK King of the slide guitar Troy Redfern.

Smoky blues and Americana artist Elles Bailey

International model and face of Vera Black Olivia Harriet.

Brand new up and coming Americana artist Lloyd McGuigan.

Plus our first book review, for the astonishing Seek the Singing Fish novel by Roma Wells.

Our ambassadors rocking our designer hats

Elles Bailey in a bespoke fedora
Olivia Harriet in the Strawberry Fields fedora
LLoyd McGuigan in a bespoke fedora
Roma Wells in her bespoke fedora
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So how do I enter the competition again?

Just sign up to receive our newsletter that comes out a few times a month – you won’t get spammed by us! You can sign up in the box below.

Subscribe to join the

Inner City Outsiders

Sign up to our newsletter and join the ‘Inner City Outsiders’ for exclusive discount codes, competitions and more! And don’t worry, we won’t bombard you with loads of emails 🙂

So, who else wears our custom designed hats?

Oritsé Williams marrying Kazz Kumar in a designer Vera Black Rose Sunset Fedora hat

Pop star Oritsé Williams wore our Rose Sunset fedora in his wedding to Kazz Kumar. We are now designing a brand new hat design with Oritsé that will be available soon.

Nadia Parkes wearing a Vera Black festival hat

We have also designed hats for a number of actors such as Nadia Parkes, pictured here, and Eva Green.

However, we’re not just about the celebrities. There are loads of super cool people out their rockin’ our hats. Below are just a few photos of happy customers at our pop up festival shows.

Susie Williams wearing a Vera Black festival hat
Customer buying a Vera Black gambler hat
Customer at Black Deer festival buying a fedora hat
Customer wearing a custom fedora hat

Of course it is always fun when international musicians like Drake White pop in to buy a hat from us at the festivals! See below Drake White on stage after a fedora hat from us earlier in the day. Top photo by Philippa Myall-Chance

Drake White wearing his Vera Black fedora hat
Drake White at the Vera Black stall at Long Road festival


Vera came out, looked at me and said “I might have a hat for you”. I just said “Just make me look nice.”... "She took a picture of me with the hat and showed it to me and I fell in love with it. I felt confident and comfortable with myself, and it’s who I should have been a long time ago. Now, this doesn't come off!"
Lloyd McGuigan
Singer songwriter

So what type of hat would you choose? A classic fedora? An edgy gambler hat?

Vera will work with you to create the perfect hat to suits your personal style. You’ll be turning heads wherever you go!

Just don’t forget to subscribe to our newsletter before midnight on the 11th of March to be included in the competition!

Gambler hat

Model and actress Stephanie Tripp wearing one of our bespoke gambler hats.

Designer fedora hats for rockstars, mavericks and trendsetters

The Strawberry Fields Fedora. One of many designer fedora hats by Vera Black

Vera Black’s designer fedora hats are being snapped up at festivals and in our online shop. They’ve helped create iconic stage looks for UK Americana star Elles Bailey and the newcomer who’s making a lot of noise, Lloyd McGuigan. Not to mention US Americana stars like Drake White and Everette

However, they’re also proving popular with free spirits who appreciate the individuality of adding handmade designer fedora hats to their everyday wardrobe and all the fun this brings. 

So what goes into Vera Black designer fedora hats?

The first thing is love, lots of love. Vera is passionate about the hats she creates. She gives each hat the same amount of attention, regardless of whether it is destined for the biggest music stage or a trip to the local bar.

While there are specific designs, there is no such thing as an identical Vera Black hat. The handmade approach ensures individuality. There is also a limit to how many of each type of hat can be made. Vera and Luke source materials from around the world and they are often only available in small batches – but they are too awesome to ignore!

Some of our popular fedora hat designs

Oritsé Williams, soul singer and founding member of pop group JLS, wore our Rose Sunset fedora hat for his recent wedding to Kazz Kumar that was covered by Hello! Magazine.

He also wears our El Capitan fedora and is about to collaborate with Vera to create a special new fedora!

We have a range of designer fedoras that have proven popular – some examples are given in the slide display below, but you can also see the full range in our fedora hat section here. We also have the glorious Strawberry Fields fedora shown in our main photo above.

Oritsé Williams wearing the Vera Black El Capitan Fedora hat

Please bear with us if any of the links below are broken, as Russ – our writer has to keep up with the ever-changing smorgasbord of fedoras. The hats are hand-made with ever-changing materials and adornments So once they’re gone they’re gone!

Our limited edition designer fedora hats!

Hold on to your hats! These really are strictly limited edition. Get ‘em while you can!

The Hendrix fedora

Created especially for National Rockstar Day the stunning Hendrix fedora has a gorgeous paisley silk headband, mixed with conchos and rooster and pheasant feathers.

There is more information about fedora hats here, including their history, who wears them and how to wear them.

See below for Instagram photos of our hats in action!

Ambassador Interview: Lloyd McGuigan and his original take on Americana

Lloyd McGuigan American music star

I first saw Lloyd McGuigan on Instagram Stories when he was helping to dismantle the Vera Black stall late at night after the Black Deer festival. There was arguably more giggling happening than dismantling… Next up I saw photos of Lloyd helping out on the stall at Long Road festival – dripping with Vera Black necklaces and a fedora hat. Oh yes, and a smile, a huge smile.

My actual introduction to Lloyd is via the less than ideal format of a Zoom call. I’m immediately greeted with that huge smile, plus an explosion of energy and stories. It’s a little bit like interviewing an exuberant puppy; only this human dynamo is on a massive mission. Lloyd McGuigan first picked up a guitar two years ago, he’s just released his first single My Father’s Words, and he intends to be the first UK person to be inducted by the Opry, Nashville.

Lloyd McGuigan’s accidental arrival into the Vera Black family

My first question in these ambassador interviews, after we’ve checked that everything is working correctly, is ‘How did you first meet Vera and Luke?’

“It was a few years ago when they used to have a stall at Camden. I was walking down the street and I saw all the hats and everything and I was like whoah, what’s this? 

“Two years later, I went to the Country to Country festival and I saw the Vera Black stall and it just hit me. I’ve never had a style, a dress style or anything. I love charity shops and vintage shops. But as soon as I saw the hats and jewellery I realised that this is not just how I want to be; it’s how I should have been. I never wore nothing that was different. I couldn’t find anything that suited me. Vera’s style, with the pirates, the rockstar and the gypsy, gives guys who are not run of the mill something a bit different, a bit more quirky, edgy.

“I tried a hat on. I fell in love with it, but I had no money. So I told them I was going to see them at Black Deer festival. I went to the stall at Black Deer and straight away Vera came out, looked at me and said “I might have a hat for you”. I just said “Just make me look nice.” She just took, what looked like, three random necklaces, put them together and said “That suits you so well”. She took a picture of me with the hat as well and showed it to me and I fell in love with it.

“I felt confident and comfortable with myself, and it’s who I should have been a long time ago. Now, this doesn’t come off! I’ve just bought a white leather jacket with tassels. I wouldn’t have done it without the rest of it and I appreciate Vera for giving me that confidence. She’s also given it to a lot of others and that is lovely.”

Lloyd McGuigan at the Vera Black stall

I’m intrigued how Lloyd went from customer to staff member.

“Later on that evening I met Olivia who was working on the stall and she asked if I was going to see The Dead South. So I went along with them and afterwards she said that we should check and see how Vera was doing. When we returned to the stall we saw Vera standing there with her face in her hands. She wanted to help Luke out with packing up the shop, (he was looking after their toddler Bobby at the time) but just didn’t know where to start.

“We ended up taking down the stall together at about one in the morning. Olivia and I weren’t very sober and it was very funny. As the night went on Vera said that I should come and work for them. I replied ‘Yeah, brilliant’, but when I woke up I realised it was an amazing opportunity for me.”

Lloyd McGuigan and Olivia Harriet

“Me and Luke ended up doing Long Road festival pretty much by ourselves as Vera stayed at home with Bobby, and Olivia could only make it for two days. That was the first time I got to hang with Luke and yeah, he was like a brother. We got along like a house on fire and I just love him.”

Selling rockstar hats to country rock stars

Drake White at the Vera Black stall at Long Road festival

Lloyd had a baptism of fire working on the stall as his very first customer was Americana superstar Drake White.

“When Drake White walked in I thought, that can’t be Drake White. I love the guy, I’m a massive fan! I start chatting with him and we end up selling him a hat. I was trying not to fanboy, but I end up asking for a photo with him. He was such a nice guy.

“Then I decided I could use my huge love of Americana music to point out some of the stars to Luke who is newer to the genre. It worked out well when Everette came in. I confirmed what time they were on stage as I didn’t want to miss it. Brent [Rupard] from Everette said ‘That’s a really nice necklace’ so I immediately found it for him in the shop. Also Anthony [Olympia] clocked on and had to have one too. Honestly there have been photos of him wearing the necklace that he bought ever since and they’ve been wearing their Vera Black trucker caps too.

[See Everette’s funny video below as an example].

“When Gangstagrass came in, they had just come off the stage. We had literally just heard their set. The whole band stands out so their fans flocked to our shop. We ended up selling a hat to Rson The Voice of Reason, that he’s always wearing on his socials, and lots of stuff to their fans.

“There’s a lot of mutual promotion, mutual respect really. Everette mentioned us on stage and Drake White said they were all rocking Vera Black today and said thanks to Vera and Luke. It’s funny, but I was so proud of Vera and Luke, from where they have come from when Vera just made things for her own stage performances, to this. It’s unbelievable, to see what they have done.”

It’s always a buzz meeting your heroes but I wanted to know about the other customers. I asked whether Lloyd saw other people having the same sort of journey as him.

“Yes, ohhh yes. One guy in particular tried this beautiful hat on and I took some photos and showed him. You could see his face light up! Just like me, his self-confidence wasn’t quite there, but he still bought it.

“I got a message from him the other day saying that he is now dressed as he feels he should be dressed, how he should be as a person. Just that weekend alone I probably helped at least five people find themselves with their dream hats or dream jewellery. The other day a customer sent me his wedding photos with him wearing his Vera Black hat! It’s so nice. I’ve met friends, fans, new family members essentially.

Customer wearing a custom fedora hat
Lady wearing a custome Vera Black fedora hat
Customer at Black Deer festival buying a fedora hat
Customer buying a Vera Black gambler hat

“The best thing was, we would close down for the day and we’d go and see one of the final bands of the night. Me and Luke would have a little whisky and we’d be walking through the festival. Now we both stand out because of what we are wearing, but people were calling out to us by our names. Telling us about the compliments they’ve received about their new hat or necklace. We missed some bands simply because it took too long to get to them because we were talking to so many people!

“It’s very strange, because it felt like we had given them something rather than having just sold them it. They feel as if they are part of the Vera Black family and they are. I think that’s what Vera extends, she extends her love. If you wear our stuff you’re a part of us. If you’ve created something too, like music, whatever, we’ll share it on our socials.”

Lloyd McGuigan the musician, shy at first, but then all conquering!

“I found a home with Vera and Luke and everyone in between, but it still took a while for me to say that I was a musician. When I did I said it with air quotes. Vera immediately told me not to do that. She said, ‘You are a musician. For years I couldn’t tell myself that I was a designer until someone said; Vera, you’re a designer.’

“Since then I always say that I am a musician. That is what I do, this is who I am. I’m very grateful for her guidance on that.”

It seems that Lloyd McGuigan has taken this guidance to heart. He only picked up a guitar two years ago, yet has his sights on the Opry in Nashville. I ask him about his musical background and discover he was originally a drummer. He also sang in a classic metal band when he was young. He listened to a really wide range of music, coming back to ‘properly listening’ to country music in the past few years.

“I went back to Hank Williams, back to Willie Nelson, right back to the start and made my way all the way through to Colter Wall and Luke Combes right now. I realised that I could make something here. I could blend something; bring my take on it. I’ve got quite a raspy voice. I like my rock, so I can bring the element of a range, rather than just singing in one tone.” 

I sing in different keys all the time just to try and bring uniqueness to each song. Also I’ve had a few people saying my guitar playing is unusual because I’ve got a drumming background and I am quite percussive when I play.

“I love doing characters and voice overs, because in doing that I can bring in different tones. My accent is very weird. I’ve lived abroad for seven years. I just try to bring my life, and what I know and everything I love now, into Americana. So every song is different. One song is blues, one is a bit rocky, another is really country.

“I decided two years ago when I first bought my Taylor guitar that I was going to dedicate my life to music, whether I am playing to 10 people in a pub or at the Opry. This is my priority right now.”

Promo photo of Americana singer Lloyd McGuigan

“My song writing process is that I record myself improvising, just playing whatever comes out. Then I go back over and take what sounds cool and go from there. If I put pen to paper, nothing comes out. 

I like improvising; making stuff up on the spot, from what’s around me. I do it in my live shows too. In one show I basically told a story over a guitar riff about a time in Amsterdam when I lived out there. You could see people realising what I was doing and turning round towards me and clicking into what I was saying.

In my last gig I started making up lyrics about the bands that were following me on stage – the Hound Dogs for Hire and Sleepy Jake. That really got people talking!”

The power of music

Lloyd’s new single My Father’s Words is written about the loss of the father when he was young. Lloyd certainly doesn’t flinch from the difficult areas of life.

“You’ve gotta have a bit of hardship to tell a story unfortunately and I’ve had all of mine. I only have my mum and sister left. I’m still trying to tell the stories. I’ve had a lot of guys come up to me after hearing My Father’s Words and tell me how they lost their dad when they were young. How they didn’t think they would ever talk about it with someone. But they are able to open up to me and say ‘that hit me’ and I appreciate that. It’s why I wrote it. I wrote it for them and for me and for my dad, so if you get something from that song then I’ve done my job as a musician.

“Without the bands I’ve listened to I wouldn’t be here today, they’ve saved my life many times when I’ve been very low. The singers and the words in their stories have got me through. So that’s all I want to do as a musician. It’s not about money, it’s not about fame, it’s about being successful within myself and people just enjoying music for what it is and hopefully get what I do from music.

“My big advice for people is to go pick up a guitar and play it for two to three hours a day, every day, and I guarantee you’ll be able to write songs in two years time. It takes hard work, determination and a love of what you do and I fucking love this music! Every show, every conversation, every article. It’s not to feed my ego, it’s just because I love it!

So what are the next steps for Lloyd McGuigan?

“The first song is done, the next one is still being recorded. We have three more songs to put on an EP after that. They’re all done, they just need to be recorded. I’ve got two big festivals booked for next year already, I’m just applying for some more, including Black Deer and Long Road.

“I want to get onto more festivals and also be a support act on a tour. I have a camper van so I can go anywhere around the UK. My end goal is to get transferred via my work at Lush to Canada and from there to Nashville. So I’d love people to hit me up for collaborations, gigs, support acts or anything in between!

You can contact Lloyd by email here or follow him on:


Lloyd McGuigan wearing his fedora hat and Vera Black necklaces

My Father’s Words by Lloyd McGuigan - Single review

You know you sometimes hear a song and it feels like the artist is just going through the motions? It’s a nice enough song, you can sing along to it, but it’s gone the moment you’ve finished listening to it. Yeah, My Father’s Words is not like that. It’s a slow-paced song, but even the intro has a stinging intensity. You can almost see Lloyd’s fingers plucking at the guitar strings, the drum beats have venom and then Lloyd’s deep, raspy vocals hit in.

You can see why the song has inspired men to share the loss of their own father with Lloyd. It’s raw, sentimental and gruff; all at the same time, with more than a touch of anger. He truly has mixed blues, rock and country and come out with something pretty special. The guitar licks are blues-inspired rock, the background is country. The vibe is anything you want it to be as long as you’re drinking bourbon – or is that just me?.

Check it out for yourself here.

You can check out our other ambassador interviews here:

And you can find all our products on our online shop.

Oritsé Williams weds his Queen in a Vera Black fedora hat

Oritsé Williams marrying Kazz Kumar in a designer Vera Black Rose Sunset Fedora hat

Soul singer and founding member of JLS, Oritsé Williams recently married Kazz Kumar in a stunning sunset wedding in Jamaica covered by Hello! Magazine. We feel so honoured that Oritsé chose our Rose Sunset Fedora to wear on this memorable occasion.
You can see the Hello! Magazine feature here and their gorgeous video from the day here. 

The wedding ceremony was delayed by a tropical storm, but it ended up happening in spectacular sunset light with Kazz Kumar looking absolutely stunning in a champagne gown by Indian designer Rohit Verma.

Oritsé Williams weds Kazz Kumar wearing a Rose Sunset fedora hat
Oritsé Williams wearing Rose Sunset fedora hat
Oritsé Williams marriage to Kazz Kumar wearing Rose Sunset fedora hat

Oritsé Williams drops in…

We make quite a few bespoke wedding hats, including one for Troy Redfern . We also get sent photos from our customers wearing their Vera Black hats at their weddings – we love receiving these! But Vera really enjoyed the challenge of making a rockstar hat for such a high profile wedding.

“I was approached by Oritsé’s stylist just before the JLS tour and she bought loads of different pieces for him to wear on tour. I think the originality of the accessories really started to become a part of his identity. A few monthes later another stylist reached out to source another hat – The Nomad Fedora – for Oritsé for the Khush Bridal Magazine shoot with Kazz.”

“Not long after that Oritsé got in touch personally as he wanted to get a hat and some other accessories for his secret wedding in Jamaica. Oritsé insisted he come pick up it personally and check out the workshop. He felt really invested in our brand and wanted to know who we were, what we are all about and where the magic happens.

“Our workshop is a little garage attached to the side of our house, so when someone comes to see the business they get a whole peek inside our lives, baby toys and all.

“I met Oritsé outside on the driveway as he exited his car, he looked super stylish, he was warm, welcoming and gave me a big hug. We immediately hit it off chatting like old friends catching up. I think we chatted for half an hour before we even made it into the workshop. I think like most people visiting Vera Black HQ, Oritsé was impressed at the humbleness of our small garage studio. With only three of us, most of the time making up the Vera Black Team. I think a lot of people envision a huge warehouse with lots of staff, but it’s just us in this tiny space.”

“Luke and myself chatted with Oritsé for hours about our past music careers; our journey’s through life, everything. He is just a really cool easy guy to chat to

Oritsé and I will be collaborating on a hat which we’ll be launching soon, we are very excited about this…it will be available for our customers to buy and own for themselves, we’ll share more about this soon.”

But it’s not the first time Vera has worked with Oritsé Williams as he has a number of our hats including our El Capitan Fedora that he wore at the Jingle Bell Ball.

Oritsé Williams and the El Capitan Fedora hat
Oritsé Williams wearing the Vera Black El Capitan Fedora hat
Oritsé Williams wearing the El Capitan Fedora to the Jingle Bell Ball.

You can check out our full range of hats here or you can look for fedoras like the ones Oritsé wears here. Finally, we have everything you need to know about fedora hats here.

Rose Sunset fedora hat worn by Oritsé Williams at his wedding

The black fedora hat – an all-round style classic

The Nighthawk black Fedora hat

A black fedora hat, blue 501s with a white t-shirt, a short skirt with knee-high boots; they’re all laid back style classics. Go with one of these looks and you’ll get the right sort of attention.

If you’re being formal a little black dress or a sharp suit will do the job – even better with a black fedora hat to really sharpen the look.

At a festival? Black jeans with a black t-shirt, a boho dress with cowboy boots, a checked shirt with shorts, a cropped top with dungaree shorts will all nail the festival look. You could top it off with hair feathers, beaded necklaces or chokers, but a black fedora hat perfects the festival bad-ass look. In fact you can wear almost anything with one of our fedoras to rock the festival look.

Yes, Vera designs fedoras in all sorts of colours, but the black fedora just seems to exude that extra piece of class. Whether it is all themed around black or bursting with exuberant colours and feathers.

Which black fedora hat is perfect for me?

You can stay all black like our classic Nighthawk fedora  (shown in our main image above), our fearless Tomahawk fedora or the striking El Capitan fedora. These are complete all rounders – perfect for casual, festival or formal wear. They also match perfectly with the gothic look.

The Hombre Fedora hat

Or add a bit of attitude like the macho Hombre fedora hat with rooster and pheasant feathers, or nail the cowboy fedora look with the Rancho fedora with its artful distressed burn effect.

And of course, black is the perfect backdrop for bright vibrant colours. You’ll always stand out in the crowd with these stunning black fedora hats.

The El Nero Oro (which translates to ‘black gold’) fedora uses a striking mix of vintage paisley silk on the hat band with rooster and pheasant feathers. The Midnight Express fedora explodes with vibrant colour while the Hendrix fedora boasts outrageous vintage vibes. You will never be short of compliments with these striking fedoras!

See the full range of our fedora hats here and add some effortless eye-catching style to your wardrobe today! 

The Festival Hat : Designed to make you feel fantastic!

Susie Williams wearing a Vera Black festival hat

A festival hat is not just to make you stand out (or even fit in) at a festival. Whilst it’s true that a festival hat will turn people’s heads, it doesn’t mean they can only be worn where there’s a party vibe. You can wear it when you feel like it: when going to a bar, out for a walk, maybe when you’re buying groceries. Sure, you can keep it for when you want to feel special, but a festival hat can spark up any outfit.

The three main benefits of wearing a festival hat:

  • You feel great
  • You look great
  • People will want to interact with you

Some people feel as if they need permission to wear a Vera Black festival hat, but that’s just nonsense! They say things like “I’m not sure it’s me” or “I’m not really cool enough to carry it off” Eventually they buy a hat that is perfect for them and we know we’re going to hear from them again:

“I love my hat, it’s given me so much confidence!” or “I get so many compliments when I wear it” 

It’s so rewarding hearing your customers thanking you for selling them your hat! We’ve written more about the psychological benefits of wearing festival hats here.

So who actually wears a Vera Black festival hat?

The obvious point we are making here is that anyone can rock a festival hat. The photo at the top of the article is of a customer, Susie Williams, not a celebrity. However, we have lots of celebrity customers.

Eva Green wearing Vera Black

Here’s film director Tim Burton’s muse and James Bond actress Eva Green wearing a bespoke gambler hat, plus bespoke necklaces designed by Vera.

Staying with actresses here’s Doctor Who, The Spanish Princess and Half Bad actress Nadia Parkes in her bespoke gambler.

Nadia Parkes wearing a Vera Black festival hat
Elles Bailey wearing a Vera Black fedora hat

Moving to the rock star look we have the award-winning blues and roots singer Elles Bailey.

Elles was styled by Vera for what has now become an iconic photoshoot. You can read about this in our interview with Elles about self image, touring in covid times and opening for Van Morrison here.

Elles has no end of our hats, but here are two of her bespoke fedoras.

Elles Bailey in a white Vera Black fedora hat

Another familiar face wearing our festival hats is the King of the Slide Guitar Troy Redfern and his trademark Vera Black gambler hats. You can even buy the Redfern Rambler that one of his iconic hats was based on. See our interview Troy where he discussed his own style of live improvisation, his love of art and the making of his new album The Wings of Salvation here.

We have also styled Oritsé Williams, once a member of pop group JLS, now a singer-songwriter, dancer and record producer.

Here he is wearing our El Capitan fedora hat which looks amazing on people who like to wear a lot of black – even to festivals! 

Oritsé Williams wearing a Vera Black festival hat

Here is classic rock star Arielle with her Vera Black gambler and her guitars that she designed with Queen legend Brian May.

The many styles of a festival hat

Photo: Photographer and artist Tegan

The basic job of a hat is to keep the wearer warm, cool, dry or shield them from the sun. The festival hat does all this in style! If you’re going to a music festival like Glastonbury or Coachella, or maybe something outrageous like Burning Man, you might want something a bit special on your head. Aside from making you look awesome, it can also help your friends find you in the crowd!

But not everyone wants to be that flamboyant. You might be heading to a local gig, an open mic night at your local bar, or just a friend’s barbecue. A good festival hat brings the happy, free-spirited vibes wherever you wear it. It is also perfect for those times when you really can’t be bothered to dress up, but it is expected of you. Just put on something easy and slip on your festival hat and you’re good to go.

So what is the best style of festival hat?

The easy answer here is whatever you like and that suits your own style. Just a quick reminder that you don’t need anyone’s permission to wear a kick ass hat! Wear what you like. You can message us here to talk about what style of hat might suit you best – just drop a link to your Instagram or other social media account so we can get a flavour of your style. You can also take it further and order bespoke hats that are specifically created for you.

You can see all of our festival hats here.

Fedora hats

The fedora hat is the classic rock n roll hat. They’re classy and can just as easily be worn to a wedding as a festival. You can keep it fairly simple like our Tomahawk fedora or make an entrance with something like our El Nero Oro fedora.

The Tomahawk fedora hat

The El Nero Oro fedora hat

You can see the full range of our fedora hats here. They are a fantastic festival hat that you can wear to a variety of occasions. We’ve written a number of articles about fedoras to help you decide which style is right for you.

Gambler hats

Gambler hats have a rebellious edge to them. In a movie you would might expect the dashing hero to wear a fedora (like Indianna Jones). The maverick character who can’t be relied upon to play it straight (like Crocodile Dundee) would wear a gambler. This is not a huge surprise as this hat style originated from the hats that gamblers wore on floating casinos in the US.

So if you’re feeling full of mischief (or think it’s about time you got up to some mischief) a gambler makes the perfect festival hat. It’s not a one trick pony either. Gamblers look very sharp with formal clothes. They are just as happy in the middle of a festival field, in a late night speakeasy bar, worn with jeans on the school run, or with a LBD or sharp suit at a business event. 

You can see our full range of gambler hats here. You can make a big statement with our Ruby Tuesday gambler hat or the Tequila Sunrise gambler. Or rock a more muted vibe with the Sierra gambler, or the Copper Head gambler.

If you want more information about gambler hats see our article What is a gambler hat and why should I wear one?

When does a festival hat become a cowboy (or cowgirl) hat?

The UK Americana music scene is massive and growing year on year. We practically sold out of our hats at the 2022 Country to Country (C2C) show in London and Black Deer was also insanely busy. You can read our report on the 2022 C2C show here.

Many of our hats have an Americana vibe – you can check out our full range of cowboy hats here. Our Arizona fedora hat and the Rose Sunset fedora hat are great examples. But our whole range of festival hats are very popular with Americana fans, especially when they are feeling the festival vibe!

Arizona fedora hat

 Rose Sunset fedora hat

Vera Black and Luke wearing cowboy hats at the C2C show

Here’s Vera and Luke celebrating selling pracitcally all their hats at the C2C stall in 2022. They are pictured in front of their iconic 1972 Dodge Boogie van. 

They have since added a vintage caravan called Elvis to their pop up shop experience. Keep an eye out for it at future shows!

Vera with Crissie from The Shires who has been a long time customer of ours. They were filming for the UK TV show This Morning where the presenter Josie Gibson had a country music style make over and had to choose the perfect hat. The video clip from the show is below.

Crissie Rhodes from The Shires and Vera Black wearing their cow girl hats at the C2C festival.

Are top hats the ultimate festival hats?

Festival hat scene from the Vera Black Sleepy Hollow fashion film

Fun, daring and achingly cool; our top hats really turn heads! They become the centrepiece of any outfit and it’s no surprise that they make you feel taller the moment you put them on. Perfect for any festival outfit, they also fit right into the bohemian, gothic or steampunk vibes. If you like your festival hat to be black and gothic you should check out our Sleepy Hollow fashion video. 

Check out our range of top hats here. 

Our standard (if you can call them that!) top hats are below but contact us if you need a bespoke version.

Rhiannon top hat

Inspired by Tim Burton’s Sleepy Hollow film and Stevie Nicks, this gorgeous hat features ostrich and peacock feathers. The hat itself is carefully distressed, wrapped with lace and embellished with conchos and moonstone.

The Sleepy Hollow top hat

A gothic beauty featuring black ostrich and pheasant feathers, ebony wood, paua shell and intricate beading.

Take a look at our article Top hat time – inspired by Sleepy Hollow and Stevie Nicks for more ways to wear these iconic hats.

Can I wear a festival hat to a wedding?

Hell yes! Our rock n roll hats love to party, but they can also behave themselves during the boring bits – sorry the formal bits. Hats always used to be worn at formal events so you will look quite the part in your festival hat. After all, it’s not your fault if your hat makes it look as if you could get up to mischief at any time is it?

Check out our article on bohemian wedding hats here. 

Photo by Roxane Nicolas

bohemian wedding photo

And finally…

If you’re thinking of buying a festival hat as a present we have some cunning, outrageous and almost sensible suggestions for finding out their hat size without them realising what you are up to.

How do I buy someone a Vera Black hat as a gift?

If you’re still not sure which hat is perfect for you just browse through all the hats we have in our hat section

Five fabulous fedoras for festivals!

The Savannah Fedora, one of the range of fedoras by Vera Black

Fedoras make the perfect festival hats. They can be worn with almost anything from a full-on Burning Man outrageous outfit to effortlessly dressing up something casual. Here we highlight five fedoras that will make you look fabulous at festivals, parties, bars or even just the supermarket!

And we’ve not even included our Savannah fedora (pictured above)!  

Looking dandy with the El Nero Ora Fedora

El Noro Ora means Black Gold in English and this hat makes a good claim to be king of the fedoras. The combination of the red paisley silk fabric band and the rooster and pheasant feathers are sure to catch the eye wherever you go. 

You could accessorise the look by contrasting it with our stunning Hollywood Vamp necklace to show you are far too cool to follow the norms.

Introducing our festival fedoras - The Strawberry Fields Fedora

There are fedoras and there is the Vera Black  Strawberry Fields fedora Whether you’re travelling with friends around the country to find the best festivals, or cutting your own path,  the Strawberry Fields fedora ensures you look cool (or hot) at all times. 

You can add to the travelling vibe with our iconic beaded glasses chain. Perfect for anyone who is planning on spending a lot of time in the sunshine – or maybe the spotlight? 

The cowboy Arizona Fedora hat

For those who like their fedoras to have a cowboy edge, we bring you this scorched beauty – the Arizona Fedora hat. You won’t find two of these hats the same, but you have to agree that the wild turkey feather finishes off the country look perfectly. Just add a laid-back swagger and maybe a pair of cowboy boots. Of course, it all works just as beautifully for cowgirls.

Why not pair it up with a stack bracelet like the Dusty Bracelet stack  or maybe the Indiana Bracelet set to give an Indiana Jones edge to your fedora?

Don’t let the sun go down on you with our Rose Sunset Fedora

Fedoras don’t come much classier than our Rose Sunset Fedora with all the colours of a softly setting sun. Perfect for the finishing glamorous touch, or as a touch of style when you’re going casual. Day or night, party or chilling. This fedora can do it all.

Unisex beaded feather necklace

Why not add some of our fabulous feather jewellery such as a our Beaded Feather necklace to complete the look?

24 hour rock star with the Hombre Hat!

It’s time to give the crowd what they really want with our Hombre Fedora Hat. It doesn’t get much more macho than this with a black hat and faux leather band highlighted with rooster and pheasant feathers. If people aren’t asking for your autograph by the end of the night, they don’t know what’s good for them!

Go full rock star with one of our key chains like the Voodoo Beaded key chain (as worn by Johnny Depp), a cuff bracelet like our Black Knight bracelet set and don’t forget to layer up those rock n roll necklaces!