In 1875, Charles Hill established Chas Hill & Sons, Men's Hatters on Lambton Quay in Wellington, becoming New Zealand's leading gentlemen's hat stockists for over 50 years.
Charles later produced a prestigious hat catalogue in 1897, illustrating the most comprehensive range of headwear possible representing all the finest English and European brands. (A copy of this is in the archives of the Alexander Turnbull Library in Wellington). Charles' son George continued with the business until the late 1950's, establishing a small manufacturing unit specialising in school and uniform caps to supplement his retail store.
Over the next 40 years, the manufacturing operation expanded to cover other fields including fashion, outdoor wear, uniform and berets.
The Smuts-Kennedy family took over the business in 1998 and have continued this success in producing headwear to the international circuit with its finest standard and quality of hats.
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