The Hats of Mr. John
In the 1940’s and 50’s the name Mr. John was synonymous with elegant hats and high fashion. The man born in 1906 as John Pico Harberger immigrated from Germany to America with his family in 1919. He learned his craft from his mother, a successful society milliner in Manhattan.
Mr. John began his solo career in 1948, after a number of years as half of the team of John-Frederic.. He rode the post war wave of American prosperity all the way to the top. His name was a household word and his creations were coveted by women in every walk of lilfe, from Hollywood stars to suburban matrons— not to mention international jet setters and the crowned heads of Europe.
When hats went out of fashion in the 1970’s, Mr. John closed his business, but continuted to design for a few posh private clients until a year or so before his death in 1993. Showered with awards and accolades in his time, Mr. John was largely forgotten by the late 80’s and he died in relative obscurity. With hats making a comeback these days, it’s time to take another look at the genius of Mr. John and to bring him back into the limelight.
Check out more of these wonderful vintage publicity photos of Mr. John hats of the ‘50’s and 60’s. They are part of a photo archive owned by Australia’s Powerhouse Museum and are gradually being archivedand licensed under Creative Commons license.