Ingenious Gifting: L'Hood

Words by
Melanie Rickey

31st October 2022

Sometimes an idea comes along that makes so much sense, you wonder why you haven’t seen it before. Then you realise you have seen it before, only it has been long forgotten by modern tastes. Enter L’Hood, a modern, Balenciaga-inspired take on the kind of rain bonnet beloved by our late Queen, and her generation of practical women.

The brainchild of three London-based creatives, hairdresser Elliot Taylor, fashion designer David Szeto and design journalist Carolyn Asome, L’Hood aims to stylishly solve multiple issues. Chief among them from Taylor’s point of view: how to protect a fresh blow dry when caught out in the rain without an umbrella, and crucially, how to have an easy solution close at hand.

L'Hood for kids

L'Hood for kids

L'Hood is perfect for all ages

Given that millions of umbrellas are lost per year, the team faced down this age old issue and it swiftly morphed from a lockdown amusement into a design project that aimed to create easy-to-use, stylish hats that are impossible to lose, and fun to wear. L’Hood was born.

The rainproof fold-away Ilse hat by L'Hood

The Ilse hat by L'Hood folds away into a wristband

The Ilse hat by L'Hood

“It’s a universal problem in the British climate,” says Carolyn Asome, a respected design and fashion journalist, “you could be in Mayfair or a rural village, running between appointments, or on the golf course, at a festival, walking the dog, or on the school run, anywhere. I saw this could take off if there was a really good hat shape to wear which is cross-generational.”

The Ritza, £49.99 in gingham

The Ritza makes a perfect unisex gift

The Ritza hat makes a perfect unisex gift, £49.99

In the end, the design conundrum was not the fabulous hats, the issue was how not to lose them. This is where the fun comes in: the L’Hood team adapted festival slap-bands meaning each hat folds away into a wristband, and you can literally throw them onto your wrist.

The Ritza, by L'Hood

The Ritza, by L'Hood

The fold-away rainproof Ritza, £49.99, is inspired by Balenciaga's 1967 wedding hat

The signature L’Hood is The Ritza (protector of people, in Greek) inspired by the strict, yet feminine lines of Cristobal Balenciaga’s wedding hat designed in 1967, and a lighter version called Decca. The Elio, a hood you can wear around your neck, and finally a cute bucket hat, The Ilse, complete the launch collection. We’re sold.

L’Hood comes in Windsor and Gingham checks, leopard print, polka dot, and plain colours from red and navy to purple.