If it was a character he would be a snake charmer… but he would be a different one, charming snakes coming out from hat boxes and not from wicker baskets like it happens in Marrakech! He definitely is a sort of magician, a genius with the right dose of insanity. A perfect combo. Materials, shapes and good hands create an amazing chemistry with the person. Wearing a Rub & Dub hat is attraction and risk at the same time. It’s just a matter of proper Art, like creating the hat itself.



When people think about buying a nice hat, they think about the coolest and most famous brands as if they were the only existing ones. We prefer to ring up the curtain on a artisanal craft store full of shapes of wood, vapour and vinyls: it’s where Dario Quintavalle hats “step out on the stage”.

Act One: the Hat

Creating hats is a very old and special craft. A hat is a symbol of charm, which disguises and reveals, shows off and hides at the same time. Calling it an accessory does not seem enough, after talking to his creator who has described his hats like a proper part of a person, something which fuses with the personality of who wears it and completes it.

Act Two: art comes from art

He is soaking the felt in water while telling us his story and it is impossible not to get fascinated:
His story starts with him seeing a sculptor painting a hat…Yep. You heard it right. A sculptor who paints a hat … Painting and sculpture become one thing in the subject: the hat.
That “piece of art” brings him to attend classes at Fontanesi family’s Bagatto School in the area of the “ghetto ebraico” in Bologna, and there he learns the basic techniques, learns how to work using heads made of wood, knows the felt and starts to draw the first patterns.
Time passes by, he wants more, so he takes his hat box and leaves…
Berlin, London, the theatre, the focus on the costumes, on the scenic design and on the research of a general harmony all around and among the things.
Once back to Bologna, Dario “opens his hat box full of experience” and finds inside it the artisan techniques his mother has taught him, the learning got from the Fontanesi family and his desire of giving life to new creations.

Act Three: techniques help the inspiration

Dario is an artisan-artist who does not follow rules or techniques, he just listens to his own sensitivity and ideas to reach what he wants: each hat must “contain” and transmit the perception of movement.
Dario’s inspiration gives rhythm to his creations, and comes either from a photography on a magazine or from somebody walking in the street gestures, from the personality of a musician or from a different way of wearing a trendy accessory.
Massive quality materials, extraordinary manual skills and devotion to each detail get mixed and shaped all together in Dario’s hands and head, where each creation is unique.

Not the last Act .

Each one of his hats has its own identity and it is full of inimitable features like the characters of a theatrical performance.  Apparently Rub&Dub hats seem to come alive with a story already, they have the glamour typical of the vintage style, and create a connection with those who wear them as if the hat and his new owner have known each other forever… they fit perfectly and softly and seem to whisper in his ears.

Such a hat becomes immediately yours, there is a direct empathy with the person who wears it, it can be a game, an escape, a refuge, a way to express yourself and communicate something more and deeper to the others.

Which character do you want be wearing a hat made by Dario? Maybe yourselves, maybe someone else… the choice is yours!