Bunn is not a big talker, but he is a big macher. For 30 years he does pretty much exactly what he does every day, drawing in the curious, the devotees, the experimenters, the confident, with his lures — his well made, unique lids.
He stays independent, he says, because “if I don’t, my craft will become work. This is my lifestyle”.
“People who buy my hats are unique, creative souls, …but it’s not just one set of people. My client base I would say is people with confidence.”
The last Panama hat I bought was online. It is the real thing, from Ecuador, hand-woven, pricey, beautiful. I have no idea who made it (though it’s signed), or where my money went.
My next? From Bunn. He’ll make me a Panama for around $100. Out of the deal I’ll get a hat, a chat, a reason to return, and the comfort in knowing I’ve pitched in to the survival of another black-owned business in the historic center of style and taste, Harlem.
Bunn takes his energy to the street every summer on the second Sunday of July. Music, refreshments, strutters, lots of stuff with an Afrocentric spin. A parade of customers, neighbors, random residents and gawkers, like me. Google the event to nail down the date.