I have been influenced by western culture all my life, and it started before my first memories - but I swear there are pictures to prove it. I grew up in Malibu, moved to Santa Ynez, and flip flopped back and forth more than I like to admit. I’m in Malibu now and adore it as the beach and country continue to influence my personal style and inspire me. The two are a beautiful merging of attitudes for me and really are very much the same. I never sought to be in fashion and seldom wore hats. I had many a fashion faux-pas back in the day and still cringe at some old photos. My passion for creativity was hereditary but my passion for hat making came by accident.
My dad gifted me a Rand’s hat, a beautiful, natural beaver, hand-crafted by Ritch Rand that was seldom worn in my profession as an event planner, creating wedding moments for others. I needed something that I could wear to meetings that was a bit more bo-ho than pure western. So I went to visit Ritch in his shop and with a few tweaks, my hat was exactly what I wanted and I was a goner! That hat got more compliments than any piece of clothing I’ve ever had. I made a few more sketches and those sketches turned into an obsession. I had felt out of place wearing a purely western hat since I was more city than country. I wanted something that was versatile on a horse but also would make your girls take notice while out to drinks somewhere. Thus, Laura Noelle was born.
I created Laura Noelle in between a full time job in the wine business (which quickly became another passion and career). Wine by day, hats by night. Bringing Laura Noelle from a series of sketches stuck on all my walls to a reality has been a dream. I base my vision for the wearer of my hats as someone like me. Someone who loves the outdoors & likes to get their boots dirty but also likes to dress for brunch on Sundays for that well deserved break. It is humbling to be a part of the Fusion Show this year, with so many creative artisans involved that I admire. I’m a rookie in the industry, but I am so excited to share my creations with you.
Laura Noelle Reynolds