The Pinkham Traveler Is a Waxed-Straw Hat That Folds Flat for Easy Packing

Last year, the Traveler won the prestigious and internationally recognized Red Dot Design Award.

Pinkham Traveller (Courtesy Pinkham Traveller)

There is something undeniably romantic about clutching a stylish sun hat as you travel, the promise of vacation at your fingertips. But what’s even better? Being able to smash that sucker into your suitcase and not worry about losing it at the airport.

Milliner Dayna Pinkham spent a decade crafting a packable travel hat for customers at her downtown boutique and workshop. The result of all that smashing, pinching, rolling and cutting is the Pinkham Traveler, a waxed-straw hat that folds so flat it comes packaged in an oversized envelope.

Last year, the Traveler won the prestigious and internationally recognized Red Dot Design Award, alongside a variety of products, such as a Maxi-Cosi stroller, a Breville espresso machine and a Ferrari.

“It’s the ultimate,” Pinkham says. “Whoever thought a hatmaker could achieve global recognition?”

The Traveler comes in nine colors and retails for $295. Customers can buy it off the shelf at Pinkham Millinery on Southwest Washington Street near 10th Avenue (make sure to pet the shop greeter Sam, a sweet beagle mix), or you can customize it online.

Pinkham has a tall stack of Traveler prototypes in her store. All those misses led her to figure out how to make the hat collapse down, origami-style, the same way each time, and pop up into its full shape right out of the envelope.

Up next, Pinkham, 65, is hoping to teach new milliners the craft as she redirects her focus to custom and couture hats again.

“I don’t believe I’ve yet made my favorite hat,” she says. “That propels me forward.”

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