Many people have great ideas and never act on it…
NOT LINDSAY BISHOP.
After recently graduating with a degree she created; Lindsay Bishop is only just beginning. This young fashion forward entrepreneur has launched her own line HatsbyLindsay this past Spring. Her hats set your pigtails and high ponytails free! HatsbyLindsay is exclusively sold on her Instagram where she receives endless support by costumers sharing their fun and edgy pictures.
1) Meet Lindsay Bishop…
My name is Lindsay Bishop! I’m 22 years old and I grew up in North Jersey, about 40 minutes outside of the city. I just recently graduated from Fordham University at Lincoln Center this past May! I was the first student to graduate with a major in Fashion Studies.
I knew I wanted to study and work in fashion when I began applying to colleges my senior year of high school. I found myself exclusively looking into fashion programs. However, I got a great scholarship to Fordham University – which isn’t a fashion school – and my parents really urged me to accept it. They knew how great of an opportunity Fordham would be for me not only academically, but also in terms of pursuing a career in fashion given that the campus is located in New York City aka the fashion capital of the world!
Fast forwarding to my sophomore year at Fordham, I had to declare a major and found myself – once again – browsing the course offerings for hours! I was trying to figure out which track would allow me to take the most fashion classes possible from within the limited selection offered for Fordham’s Fashion Studies Minor.
This is when I discovered the option to create an Individualized Major! I immediately reached out to different department heads and my dean to begin the process of designing my own curriculum by evolving the pre-existing Fashion Minor into a Fashion Major. I wrote a lengthy proposal explaining why I believed a new major in fashion was essential in maximizing my academic potential and fulfilling my professional goals– while simultaneously convincing the Jesuit administration of my university that fashion is a topic worth academic analysis. Three and a half years later, I am now the first Fashion graduate from Fordham University!
2) When did you start HatsbyLindsay and why?
I had the idea to create Hats By Lindsay when I was a junior in college. I was studying abroad my Fall semester in London at the University of Westminster. I was able to take courses from the fashion program alongside all of the university’s fashion students.
The first thing I Googled when I got accepted into the program was if they celebrate Halloween in London – (BTW- they do!)—because Halloween has been my favorite holiday ever since I was a little girl! I’ve always love the eeriness and the dressing up, but as I grew older, I began to design costumes which was when my love for the holiday really began to flourish. I started looking forward to Halloween and brainstorming different costume ideas and how to bring them to life as early as March! I’m proud to say that I’ve probably designed upwards of 50 costumes for myself, my friends, family and American Apparel customers over the years (I worked there throughout college).
Anyway, that year one of my costumes was Lunette the Clown and her sidekick Molly from my favorite television show as a kid, the Big Comfy Couch. (If you haven’t seen or heard of it, I highly recommend you watch at least a clip of it on Youtube!) Lunette the Clown, the main character, wears a purple bowler hat that possesses two holes in the top for her curly pigtails to pop out of. After Googling for hours – pulling inspiration and researching the different pieces that I needed to collect to make my homemade costume, I realized that a hat like this did not exist yet – not even something remotely similar was out there. I then thought – how awesome would a hat with holes for pigtails be as an everyday hat. As a BASEBALL CAP. At this time, the dad hat trend was (and still is) in full swing, which helped confirm proof of concept for my Halloween costume inspired fashion trend!
3) What is your overall mission of this brand and what type of products do you sell?
My brand (Hats by Lindsay) is so new (I’ve only started selling my hats two months ago in April), I haven’t fully developed a brand identity yet. I think I have a good sense for the direction I’d like to go in, but for right now I just have a great, original product that people are overwhelmingly excited about – more so than I could have ever hoped for so early on.
These first two months of business were really essential in gaging the level of interest in my product and which styles/colors would be most popular. Hats by Lindsay currently sells two different styles of baseball caps – the pigtail and the high pony. The pigtail cap was my original idea – and possesses two slits, one on each side, for pigtails to pop out of. They look equally as rad with space buns or braids peeping out!
The high pony cap possesses one slit high up in the back of the hat for a high ponytail to pop out of. A lot of people really love these to keep their hair higher off their neck to play sports, or if they’re not feeling edgy enough to graduate to the pigtail cap just yet!
Both styles come in 9 colors – burgundy, red, mustard yellow, olive green, light blue denim, dark blue denim, baby pink, white, and black. This purposeful selection is meant to be reflective of the full rainbow, with my own little alternative twist! I also just recently added 3 camouflage colorways – pink, grey, and green!
Although, the caps are typically bought and sold plain at $15 a pop. I ‘m extremely eager to begin putting designs on them at a higher price point. I have created some limited edition ones like a July 4th one and a Fordham Rams one! I have also fulfilled a handful of custom order requests which usually consist of someone’s initials or school logo.
Now that I am out of school, I am excited to dedicate a lot more time to expanding and scaling my business in all aspects, such as, new product designs, establishing a distinguishable brand identity, polishing my social media presence, launching and running a website, and hopefully hosting more pop-up shops! I’d even love to come up with a new name for my brand as I hope to branch out past hats and sell other garments! But for now, I’m excited about growing my hat business to as big as my small, Upper East Side apartment (and Hats by Lindsay Headquarters) will permit!
4) What are the UPSCALE sides to creating your own line?
There are definitely many more upscale aspects of creating my own line than downscale ones. The thing I love most about creating my own brand is the creative freedom that it has given me. In fashion, I’m definitely most passionate about the way in which clothing is an art form that provides a platform for self-expression. I see clothing as wearable art and our bodies as the canvas to which it manifests on.
As artists and designers, we all have our own styles and visions and I’m happy that my brand has given me the opportunity and artistic freedom to design what I want and how I want it, without having to answer to anyone else. I can’t put into words how rewarding it is to see people wearing something that I designed! It has always been a dream of mine to see people wearing something that I made, even if it is only on top of someone’s head right now! I’ve started from the top (of the body!) and now I’m excited to begin working my way down!
5) What are the DOWNSCALE sides to creating your own line and company?
I think the downscale sides of creating my own company lie within my own personal flaws! As a person who is more interested and passionate about the creative and design side of the brand/fashion industry, I find it hard keep up with the more business oriented aspects of the brand. I’m truthfully very disorganized and scatterbrained! But, having my own business has forced me to confront these flaws and has made working on them and improving myself in all aspects of my life fun and rewarding!
Between working a full-time job as a Creative at MAC Cosmetics and coming home to work on the fun parts of my brand such as new designs, I always struggle to find enough hours in the day to dedicate to the logistical (and in my opinion the most boring!!!) aspects of the brand. I usually run on my lunch break to mail out hats, make business calls, or post on my social media – but I wouldn’t trade the hustle for the world!
6) What advice would you give others that want to start their own line?
I can’t tell you how many people have approached me or messaged me saying “This is such a great idea. So many people have great ideas and never act on it. ” It’s great to see someone who actually is.” I really appreciate people going out of their way to share this with me for a number of reasons but most simply because I was in that exact position for so long. I was the person who was teetering back and forth between acting on an idea or abandoning it. I was so afraid that people wouldn’t understand my idea or would think it was stupid, which really delayed me from starting the project by almost a year.
I think a lot of designers and artists really struggle with expressing their ideas or showing off their work because each and every design is like a fragile, precious treasure. The thought of someone shooting down an idea or simply not understanding a concept is definitely frightening and can even be extremely discouraging. But, my fear of facing negativity, skepticism, and opposition to an idea did nothing but waste my time and set me back a year.
“I would say my best piece of advice is to not let the fear of being misunderstood hold you back or deter you from pursuing something that you really believe in”
7) Anything else you would like to tell us about HatsbyLindsay !
One thing I really want to address is the frequency in which people (both men and women) approach me and say “I wish you had ones for men to wear” or “You should put fake hair on them for guys with short hair”. Many people assume that because the product requires a little bit of hair length (not even a lot) to wear it, that it is a “girl” product. I genuinely want people to understand that this ideology could not be further from the truth. The association of long hair with femininity (or associating any hair length anywhere on the body with a specified gender) is a social structure. A woman does not have to have long hair.
A man does not have to have short hair. Men can grow their hair just as long as woman have and do! Then they can wear my hats like all of the other men out there who already understand this sentiment and rock Hats by Lindsay on the reg! It’s simply ignorant to assume that my hats are a “girl product” or made for girls just because they require a few inches of hair to be worn (which isn’t even true because I have bald friends –male and female– who wear them all the same)! I think the reason why I originally fell in love with baseball caps is rooted within their universal appeal across cultures, age groups, genders, etc. Toddlers, grandmas, moms, dads, athletes, celebrities, employees, boyfriends, artists, etc. all wear baseball caps – and Hats By Lindsay stands by keeping it this way! With all that being said, I’m making it part of my mission and duty as a designer to continue to further dismantle the profoundly complicated relationship between clothing and identity and the troubling assumptions that are formed about one’s identity based on his/her clothing choices and/or appearance.
Follow Lindsay and her HATS!
Name: Lindsay Ann Bishop (IG: @bishoplindsay)
Residency: New York, New York
Job Title: Associate Creative, Writer at M·A·C Cosmetics
(and founder of Hats By Lindsay ;)~ )
Brand Name: Hats by Lindsay (IG: @hatsbylindsay)