Cornwall LivingIssue #127

A work of art

A Portuguese heritage, a childhood in Cape Town and now a family life on the Cornish coast.

Marcel Rodrigues is a sustainable fashion brand offering bespoke hats and Cornish made clothing. Founded in 2018 in Bourton-on-the-Water, Marcel Rodrigues has since moved to the north coast of Cornwall and offers a bi-annual popup at Savile Row where the team can take their coastal creations to the big smoke, with styles that suit all walks of life. Sustainability is fundamental to the brand, which uses 100% renewable energy, utilises end-of-line or unused stock cloth, produces all clothing in small batches and in-house, and offsets Co2 emissions through schemes such as One Tree One Life. The team really do work with the planet to ensure a future for themselves as a business, and for us as a planet.

Marcel Rodrigues hats are handcrafted by Marcel himself using traditional techniques, and clients are able to design their own unique hat to suit their personality and lifestyle. The process begins with either a face-to-face or video call consultation to discuss the client’s design preferences, including the colour of felt or straw, brim width, crown height, and preferred adornments. The hat can include embroidery, vintage ribbons, beads, and particular design additions can be sourced on request – whatever it takes to make your perfect hat. Marcel creates every hat with the same love, care and attention to detail as if it were his own, infusing each design with years of experience in a craft that is not all that common in today’s era. The design journey itself is one to embrace and enjoy, as a piece of you comes to life before your eyes as something you can treasure for years to come.

Marcel believes that hats should not be underestimated in their ability to evoke a feeling of confidence, and we are inclined to agree with him having seen what he can create out of a handful of materials. In the words of one of his clients: “As an older woman you become invisible, but since wearing my Marcel Rodrigues hat I stand out and am noticed, and that feeling is worth more than anything to me.”