Optimo Hats Illinois Made

Photo Danny Fogarty, courtesy of IOT.

Graham Thompson of Optimo Hats in Chicago.

Latest maker video features the acclaimed entrepreneur discussing the passion and skill that made him among the most sought-after makers in the country.

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For Distribution
April 06, 2017

Contact: Marla Cichowski

Illinois Office of Tourism Releases Newest Maker video, Optimo Hats, part of Illinois Made program.

Chicago – The Illinois Department of Commerce’s Office of Tourism released today the newest local business highlighted as part of Illinois Made video series: Optimo Hats.

Launched in July 2016, Illinois Made is an ongoing program that recognizes the artisans, products and experiences that are unique to the state. It offers Illinois Made - inspired travel ideas to encourage people to extend their travel beyond a day trip by exploring the local businesses and great attractions nearby.

Graham Thompson, Owner of Optimo Hats, took the shop over from legendary South Side hatter, Johnny Tyus, and has since worked tirelessly to revive an almost dying art –and with great success. Today it is the go-to hat shop for both movie stars and fashion-forward locals.

Optimo creates custom hats after a precise fitting and consultation. “Optimo Hats is a true local treasure and a place all visitors to Chicago should experience,” says Cory Jobe, Director of the Illinois Office of Tourism. “With famous fans like Johnny Depp, Graham Thompson has earned his reputation as the top hatter in the country, and we’re proud to have Optimo represented as part of our Illinois Made program.”

Optimo Hats is run out of a firehouse-turned-hat-shop in Beverly with a retail spot in downtown Chicago. Felt hats start at $650 and straw hats start at $550.

Learn more about Optimo Hats.


The Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity, Office of Tourism manages industry efforts that result in sustainable and significant economic and quality-of-life benefits for Illinois residents.