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The Origins of Fez-o-rama
It was over a lunch of cheese pizza in the fall of 1991 that the seeds of Fez-o-rama were planted. Originally conceived as a series of gifts for friends many designs were drawn up and much laughter was had. Unfortunately nothing much came from this but a series of sketches and a persistent idea stuck in the back of my head. It wasn’t until 1996 when working on a birthday gift for one of the friends that the problem of fabrication was solved. It was one of those painfully obvious discoveries while working on something entirely unrelated; the kind of realization that is less inspiring than it is embarrassing that it wasn’t seen earlier.
One might think that that would be enough to get the ball rolling but it was another two years before the next breakthrough.
In 1998 the required elements needed for the next milestone seemed to fall into place:
- Embroidery Machine – a gift from parents upon graduating from design school in ’96
- Design Inspiration – a running gag started in 1992 that showed no signs of slowing down.
- Copious amounts of free time – I was in the middle of my short career as a full-time cancer patient (a story for another time)
- The need to produce Xmas gifts for all my friends – I’ve always preferred to make gifts as opposed to buying them… not that I had any actual money to buy gifts at the time, but you get the picture.
The raw materials were supplied by my then girlfriend – now wife (a much better story for a another time.) Thus was created the now infamous Cult of the EyeSacrifez™ as seen at cultoftheeye.com. This simple hat design has had a ridiculous amount of influence on my -as well as many others’ – lives and I continued to improve and refine the original concept over the years. What started as a running gag was threatening to become a legitimate secret society, filled with insanely talented and creative members. People from all over the globe were drawn to our ranks.
After many years of fielding the same questions about the fez propped atop my pate I started considering reviving the original concept of Fez-o-rama. I felt it was time for more people to witness the mighty power of the mystical fez. We have had so much fun turning heads and twirling tassels that I knew there was a need to share this with more people. The Cult of the Eye is a tight knit group and not everyone that is attracted to a fez belongs, or necessarily desires to be in its ranks but they do need to sport quality custom headwear.
In 2005 the Cult of the Eye introduced what would become the Fez-o-rama prototype fezzes at the spectacular Tiki Oasis event. The response was outstanding, and we were encouraged to resurrect the Fez-o-rama concept. Inspired by the opportunity to meet new creative people and to be able to finally get some of these ideas off of the page and out of my head.
Soon after Tiki Oasis 5 I asked Joe Cache – a fellow member of the Cult of the Eye – if he would be interested in setting up a website for Fez-o-rama and make our fezzes available to the world. Joe took on the burdens of handling the business side of things while I focused on designing, creating graphics and working up new fezzes.
Over the last few years we have gone from an occasional hobby to what threatens to become an actual job. We have designed dozens of fezzes for our own lines, as well as special fezzes for others such as: the Fender Custom Shop, artist Derek Yaniger, comic book god Mike Mignola as well as some of our service men and women working in Iraq. I continue to be amazed at how people respond to the silly hats we make.
So we are now proud to drag Fez-o-rama out into the light. With an emphasis on quality construction and creative design we hope to be enablers to all of those both daring and pretentious enough to don a unique, custom, and stylish fez.