Roland-Garros: Never without my Panama

 - Elodie Iriart

We shine the spotlight on the Panama hat, an iconic accessory for spectators at Roland Garros.

Chapeaux La Griffe - Roland-Garros 2019Amelie Laurin / FFT

Easy-to-wear and capable of adding an extra shot of elegance to the most casual of outfits, the Panama hat has long been a must-have wardrobe item for style-conscious spectators at Roland Garros.

We take a look at the origins of this timeless accessory and shine the spotlight on the three 2019 variations available to snap up from La Griffe Roland-Garros.

Back to basics…

A symbol of classic elegance since the 19th century, the Panama hat has adorned many a famous head, including Roosevelt, Churchill and Napoleon, as well as accompanying Paul Newman, Robert Redford and Sean Connery down the red carpet.

“The aristocrat of straw hats” is commonly known as the Panama hat, despite its Ecuadorean origins. Though it is highly likely to have been around since the early 1800s, it first became popular when the Panama Canal was being built.

It was made famous by the thousands of workers assigned to this gigantic building site, who were required to wear this lightweight, wide-brimmed straw hat to protect them from the sun.

Roland-Garros Panama Pippa© Corinne Dubreuil / FFT
The reason Paris was given the nickname “Paname”?

Presented at the Paris Universal Exhibition in 1855, it was quickly adopted by Parisians and became extremely fashionable from the beginning of the 20th century. Such was its prevalence that it might even be the reason Paris was given the nickname “Paname”.

Further contributing to its prestige, former President of the United States Theodore Roosevelt introduced the hat to the rest of the world and caused its popularity to skyrocket after a photo was taken of him visiting the Panama Canal work site in 1906.

The fruit of unique artisanal expertise, the Panama hat is made completely by hand, by Ecuadorean craftsmen and women. The weavers take several weeks or even months to create a single hat. The hats are woven from toquilla palm leaves, whose fibres have many qualities, such as their exceptional whiteness, their finesse and their flexibility.

Timeless style

The epitome of casual elegance and French style, the classic Panama hat with a coloured band, from La Griffe Roland-Garros’ Heritage line, will never go out of style.

A favourite accessory in the stadium’s stands, it is available in three different variations, each with a different coloured band, with beige being the new addition for this year. Lightweight and flexible, the Panama hat still tops the charts in the fashion stakes and brings a touch of summer to all of your outfits!

The advantages of straw

Blending seamlessly with the décor inside Roland Garros stadium, the Panama hat provides inspiration for the Serres capsule collection, which includes this straw hat with a celadon-coloured band.

To stand out from the crowds and stay protected from the sun, pop on this Panama-with-a-twist to feel stylish and natural as you watch the action on court! 

The striped must-have

Stripes are to spring/summer what tartan is to winter and, this fortnight, La Griffe Roland-Garros gives your look a hit of summer modernity with this eye-catching accessory.

And, since you can never be too young to be stylish, the trilby is also available in a children’s version, making it the ideal accessory for budding tennis players to wear around the stadium!

All thehats are available from the online store.