From the Andes, about 2,800 meters above sea level, in the Andean town of Tabacundo, a group of visionaries and among them José Cevallos, begin the migration of toquilla straw, in the form of the most elegant and fine hat to become the Ideal complement to good dress.
This is how José Cevallos arrives in Havana in the second decade of the last century.
Credit: Taken from the books of the Museo de Mama Nati
In the XX century in Ecuador, the merchant José Cevallos, took the hat business through towns and cities of the country and beyond; through Central America and the Antilles, advancing to the United States; New York, San Jose de Costa Rica, Havana, Panama, those who returned to the land with silver and riches of the customs, to modify the environment and saturate it with better days. Actually, Tabacundo began to live comfortably and slackly.
Now grandchildren Cevallos family successfully continue this business.
Panama hats first gained popularity in 1906. United States president Theodore Roosevelt had worn one of these hats—actually made in Ecuador, despite the name—when
visiting the construction site of the Panama Canal, helping cement the Panama hat as an internationally recognized symbol of casual elegance.
Panama hats are the product of artisanal techniques passed down through the generations, representing extraordinary cultural heritage. The technique for weaving fine toquilla straw was even added to UNESCO's list of Intangible Cultural Heritage on December 6, 2012. RONNEL hatmakers weave 9 to 35 straws per inch to produce handmade pieces of the highest quality.
RONNEL is proud to work with the Asociación de Tejedoras de Sombreros y Artesanías de Paja Toquilla to bring their straw hats to the international fashion world while highlighting the traditional art of this Ecuadorian community.