0 Love It
Save it

Most stylish New Yorkers 2013: Marc Williamson

The owner of JJ Hat Center and Pork Pie Hatters has a closet brimming with headwear, colorful socks and dashing coats.

Photograph: Noffar Gat

Williamson describes this look as “contemporary Harlem Renaissance.” The jacket was a vintage find that belonged to his friend Rod Springer. “I loved the color and texture of the coat,” Williamson enthuses. “I admired it, and he blessed me with it.” He pairs it with slim-fitting pants from Brooks Brothers(locations throughout the city; visit brooksbrothers.com).

Photograph: Noffar Gat

“I bought this cashmere sweater as a Christmas gift for my father and decided to keep it for myself,” Williamson admits of the Banana Republic(locations throughout the city; visit bananarepublic.com) layering piece. A two-tone Holl NYC scarf from JJ’s finishes off the look.

Photograph: Noffar Gat

The hat is Borsalino of Italy (borsalino.com), from JJ's, and is tricked out with a custom band added by Williamson. “I customize my hats often because I love the way they look, and I want to show customers that they don’t have to be bound by tradition when it comes to headwear,” he says.

Photograph: Noffar Gat

Williamson purchased these sleek leather Magnanni (magnanni.com) shoes from Nordstrom Rack(60 E 14th St at Fourth Ave; 212-220-2080, nordstromrack.com). “I love the way they slenderize big feet,” he notes. A striped pair of Happy Socks (happysocks.com) add a pop of color to his outfit.

Photograph: Noffar Gat

The store owner pairs a leather jacket from Gap’s 1969 collection (locations throughout the city; visit gap.com) with a pair of vintage Levi’s from Church Street Surplus (327 Church St at Canal St; 212-226-5280, churchstreetsurplus.com). “I like shopping vintage to find classic, interesting items with character,” he says. “Slightly weathered pieces seem to tell a story.”

Photograph: Noffar Gat

The hat aficionado wears a Jonathan Richards newsboy cap he bought at JJ’s. “Each cap is handmade from the craziest wools from mills in Dublin,” he says.

Photograph: Noffar Gat

Williamson has an affinity for printed scarves, such as this design by Holl NYC, purchased at JJs. “Solid-color scarves don’t really appeal to me,” he explains. “I would only buy a solid scarf if the texture was out of this world.”

Photograph: Noffar Gat

Williamson admits to owning about 50 pairs of socks. “I like colorful socks because they have a way of speaking— they say hello,” he muses. This pair is a bargain buy from Century 21(locations throughout the city; visit c21stores.com).

Photograph: Noffar Gat

“I love black leather jackets. I can’t get enough of them,” enthuses Williamson. “They are street- and red-carpet-ready.” This style is made by Amsterdam-based Scotch & Soda(273 Lafayette St at Prince St; 212-966-3300, scotch-soda.com).

Photograph: Noffar Gat

Williamson owns about 40 hats, which he displays on shelves in his apartment. This Biltmore of Canada (biltmorehats.com) homburg-style is typically worn on formal occasions, but Williamson likes it for the “classic rock & roll energy it gives off.”

Photograph: Noffar Gat

A lightweight Italian-made printed scarf was a steal from Century 21.

Photograph: Noffar Gat

“I am not loyal to one brand of socks; I just buy what appeals to me,” he says. This colorful pair from Bugatchi Uomo (bugatchiuomo.com) stands out when worn with his polished leather Donald Pliner (donaldjpliner.com) oxfords, which he bought from Amazon (amazon.com).

JJ Hat Center and Pork Pie Hatters owner Marc Williamson proves he is one of the most stylish New Yorkers by wearing put-together outfits assembled from a mix of local indie designers and thrifted finds. He has a knack for uncovering deals at department store discounters like Nordstrom Rack and Century 21.

RECOMMENDED: Most stylish New Yorkers

Marc Williamson
, 42; Woodside, Queens; co-owner of JJ Hat Center(310 Fifth Ave between 31st and 32nd Sts; 212-239-4368, jjhatcenter.com) and Pork Pie Hatters(440 E 9th St between First Ave and Ave A, 212-260-0408 • 441 Metropolitan Ave between Marcy and Meeker Aves, Williamsburg, Brooklyn; 347-457-6519 • porkpiehatters.com)

His personal style: “Cosmopolitan: When I dress I try to express a clear, palatable mix of cultures and ideas, not unlike the city where I live. My style is highly adaptable.”

His style inspirations: “I am inspired by people who express their individuality by the way they dress. I am also inspired when I see different colors that go together well and by shapes and textures, no matter the medium.”

About his store: “JJ Hat Center was established in 1911 and Pork Pie Hatters in 2011. Both are classic full-service men’s hat shops selling fedoras, Panama hats, driving caps, newsboy caps, berets, fisherman caps and so on. Some of the brands we stock include Borsalino, Jonathan Richards, Stetson, Phrenology, Tomaz and Williamson, and more.”

Favorite stores:Ina(locations throughout the city; visit inanyc.com) offers luxury and high-end goods at affordable prices. I have purchased everything from shoes to belts to jackets from them over the years. The layout of Nepenthes(307 W 38th St between Eighth and Ninth Aves; 212-643-9540, nepenthesny.com) is fantastic, and they sell Engineered Garments, which I love. I like the unique mix of items that Opening Ceremony(35 Howard St between Broadway and Crosby St, 212-219-2688 • 1190–92 Broadway between 28th and 29th Sts, 646-695-5680 • openingceremony.us) carries. My last purchase from them was a pair of Thierry Lasry sunglasses.”

His signature items: “My signature items would be my headwear (fedoras, tweed caps, berets, etc.), my scarves (different fabrics based on the weather which I wear year-round) and my socks (always colorful, with stripes or prints, never plain or drab, solid colors).”

Favorite NYC designers:Ovadia and Sons(ovadiaandsons.com) has great taste and style. They make fabulous outerwear, formal wear, shirts, shoes and so on. Devon Scott (devonscottny.com) specializes in men’s suiting. He offers made-to-measure suits, jackets and shirts. He’s a Southern gentleman with a sartorial elegance. Holl NYC, a new brand by Gabriel Holl, makes ties and scarves. I love his eye for color and texture. His website is set to launch in early spring.”

His New York style icon: “Jam Master Jay of Run-D.M.C. To me, style is how you treat people and how you inspire people, as well as how you dress. True style breaks down barriers and builds bridges. When I was a young nobody running with another notable rapper’s entourage and crossed paths with JMJ, he was more than personable—he was cool, and made me feel cool. That’s style.”

How he describes NYC style:
“Focused, frenetic and liberating.”

Follow Rachel LeWinter on Twitter: @Rachel_LeWinter



A very cool thing to find this article about a local, and his success story that can be an inspiration to us all.  Life takes us on many turns, this way and that and here it is.  A man whose road trip and determination and love for fashion has brought him to such a wonderful success in men's accessories and fashion. Thank you for the inspiration to those involved in writing this article and for the man himself, Marc Williamson.  www.joycedade-photography.blogspot.com