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Conceived by Eric Fischl and created by Sag Harbor knitwear designer Gretchen Comly, the DEADMAN HATS were born.


The inspiration for these hats was a visit to the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam, where Eric saw an exhibit of about 10 of these “muts”, the Dutch word for a knitted or crocheted hat. From 1619 to about 1657, these uniquely distinctive knit caps were worn by the whalers stationed in one of the coldest places on the planet, Smeerenburg, Svalbard, where a whale processing station was installed until the overfishing of the Bowhead whales they depended on shut it down around 1660. The hats were found in the late 1970s, buried with their wearers, during an excavation of this small and nearly mythological colony of whalers.

Knocked out by the designs, and feeling the kinship Sag Harbor’s mariners would have had with these Dutch adventurers, Eric wanted to bring these striking artifacts back to life, so he contacted knitwear designer Gretchen Comly to re-create them. All FISCHL DEADMAN HATS are designed and hand-knit with care and historical consideration, using colors sourced from the original hats themselves. 

All the hats’ cashmere and merino wool is hand dyed in Milan, after which they are created in Sag Harbor. 

To purchase a Fischl Deadman Hat visit our digital shop or drop by The Church.


Above: a photo of the actual "Muts" displayed at the Rijksmuseum in 2019, excavated from Smeerenburg, Svalbard.

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