Cuyana co-founder and CEO Karla Gallardo grew up in Ecuador, where the hat was a staple of everyday life. It wasn’t until she left for the United States that she learned of the misconception that the style came from Panama. “I was shocked at how a product could be sold in a way that didn’t honour its origin and its story,” says Gallardo. “There’s just a huge difference between where the product is made and where it comes from and what the customers know about it.” To correct this, earlier this year, Gallardo and her co-founder, Shilpa Shah, debuted the “This Is Not A Panama Hat” campaign highlighting the style’s origins. “We are actually moving forward with that campaign with the goal of a name change,” says Gallardo.
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