Eric Blum: The hockey star is a star hat maker

Hockey star Eric Blum

The Mad Hatter of Ice

Most people know Eric Blum as a former hockey star. What many people don’t know: the man from Zurich and his business partner have been running a successful hat and leather goods brand for about five years now, which musicians like Bligg and Marc Sway are sending out to the world.

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Top athletes and fashion designers? While other sports stars start brands but don’t help themselves, Eric Blum has mastered the craft of hat making for his career as a hockey pro.

Laszlo Schneider

Laszlo SchneiderEditor of People

Yes, the comparison with the “crazy hat maker” (German “crazy hat maker”) from the novel “Alice in Wonderland” is easy – and yes: Eric Blum (36) can testify to a certain amount of madness. Why should a top athlete like Zurich start a fashion brand during his successful career?

One thing is clear: Blum’s plan, which he created in parallel with the ice cream and constantly developed, is working – the 36-year-old man has led the hat and leather goods brand Onkai Heiwa together with business partner Luca Meier (33) since 2017. Belts and bags drawn straight into the fairy-tale world. Stars like rapper Bligg (46) and musician Marc Sway (43) (as Duo Blay) or hockey colleague Roman Josi (32) are already bringing the label’s creations to the wider world – and it shouldn’t stop there.

Blick meets founder Blum at his studio in Zurich’s Wiedikon fashion district. In the front part of the premises, the duo presents hats and leather haberdashery, in the back part is a workshop where they fulfill customers’ wishes in orderly chaos. Blum’s fascination stems from his Japanese grandfather – he says he always wore hats. He picked up other pieces at flea markets, embellished them with ribbons and made them unique – he soon knew, “I want to do this professionally!”

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