Hat history

Between style and tradition

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.

 Roosvelt's classic Panama hat

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 Ecuadorian artisans to bring their straw hats to the international fashion world while highlighting the traditional art of this Ecuadorian community.