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Cory Piehowicz

Cory Is a legendary phototagraper in many fields. Beyond that, he seeks adventure in every aspect of life. Cory is a fella from Ohio, splitting most his current days between San Francisco & Los Angeles, if not getting dirty in the outdoors. I first met Cory many years back at a trade show in Los Angeles and instantly fell in love with his work. Over the years we have continued to see eachother at events, shows and passing by. Cory is a great human, and is rarely seen without a hat.

I never use to wear hats, sunglasses, ect. When I started to get interested in vintage clothing and photographs of workers from the 1860’s-1920’s, is when I started to get drawn into hats. I would see these beautiful photographs of workers (miners and cowboys) and think, can I pull off  a hat like that? At first I thought maybe it was a little too much costume-y, but then I really had to put a hat on and see.

The first thing to me about a hat is its functionality. When I explore  mines, I wear a helmet but the amount of times I hit that helmet on the ceiling of the mine is crazy - hence one reason miners wore hats, to protect their domes. The older I got I realized how much harm the sun can do, a hat with a nice brim can fix that! So I pretty much got over caring what others thought about my hat and more about how it was functional for me.  Second of course is style. I would see certain guys wearing hats with distinct creases and shapes.  My favorite style is the open road or the campaign/ranger style shapes. But I do like a super big hat too. Sam Elliots in 1892 is so incredible, I have a vintage one that is super close to his in the show.  

I think the other thing that fascinates me about vintage hats is the history of the guy/gal that wore it. Seeing how the brim was shaped, the sweat stains (showing you the person did hard, sweaty work). I have vintage miner hats with candle wax all over them from where they wore a candlestick in their hat and the candle dripped stearic acid wax all over it. Not sure what it is about candle wax on hats and clothing but it drives me crazy, haha.  

I have many vintage hats and one or two hats that I bought new. I love them both and love that I can add my story to my own hat. While wearing vintage hats I can imagine the history or where it may have come from. I have a huge collection of thousands of vintage photographs, and looking at the hats in the photos is one thing that draws me in and makes me wonder where is that hat now? Does some collector have it or is someone still wearing it? 


Cory Piehowicz

See the incredible span of Cory's photography work here:


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