Who would have thought a humble, family-run backstreet warehouse selling hats in California would be thriving almost a 100 years later, under the same family name, offering it’s customers the latest in augmented reality shopping experiences.
Founded in 1921 by Jack Dorfman and Arthur Hyman, The Tenth Street name is taken from the original warehouse on 10th Street and Broadway in Oakland, California. Though the team has grown over the years, they remain a family-run organisation that has maintained relationships with expert craftsmen and designers.
Despite maintaining production of the hats through rare, old-fashioned machines that are nearly one-of-a-kind, the company has embraced an abundance of technological changes over the years. The latest came after the CEO, Carson Finkle, had an encounter with AR solutions provider, Vertebrae, on the golf course.
It became obvious to him that hats had a very simple and obvious link with the technology and so the partnership came about to bring virtual hats into peoples’ homes, allowing them to try them on without having to leave their sofa.
The Tenth Street partnership shows how AR is now traveling the path of democratization that new technological breakthroughs often take.
They are brought to our attention by the big tech companies with the specialist knowledge and resources to develop them, then slowly they arrive to smaller service providers who can deliver them to more local or independent businesses.
As a company that has watched for decades the sartorial changes swirl byTenth Street hats have found a way to blend a more vintage feel and modern sensibilities not only in the style of their hats, but throughout their business and communication strategy.