THA Retailer of the Year Award

2017 THA Retailer of the Year

Clay Cavender, Cavender’s Western Wear

Congratulations to The Headwear Association 2017 Retailer of the Year, Cavender’s Western Wear. As a distinguished leader in the western wear industry, Cavender’s was started by James Cavender in Pittsburg, Texas in 1965 and today remains family owned and operated.

Cavender’s is a household name in the southwest and a distinguished leader in the western wear industry. Cavender’s currently owns and operates 77 western wear stores in Texas, Oklahoma, Mississippi, Arkansas, Colorado, Kansas, Louisiana, Missouri and New Mexico. The company is constantly expanding, and a new Cavender’s location in Huntsville, AL is opening soon.


Cavender’s is steeped in the philosophies of hard work, customer service, and common-sense.  The Cavender Family operates five working ranches throughout Texas, gaining inspiration for products. They live the lifestyle. Cavender’s carries a full line of men’s, women’s and children’s western apparel, straw, felt and wool hats and a large selection of handcrafted western boots.

Their expansive collection of Cowboy Hats that includes styles from Cavender’s private label collection, Justin, Stetson and Resistol is unrivalled. Cavender’s also carries a variety of other hat styles including Children’s Western hats, Caps, Outbacks, and Western Fashion Hats from Scala & Dorfman Pacific.

Today, Joe, Mike and Clay Cavender have taken the reigns of the business running it with as much passion and perseverance as their 86-year-old father did the last half century—albeit with him still riding along side.

Clay is vice president of merchandising overseeing men’s soft goods and hats, and also is in charge of the development of Cavender’s private apparel labels including its newest brand, Rafter C.  “If you look back through time, there’s a look that’s always cool and that’s a pearl snap shirt, a cowboy hat and a pair of cowboy boots,” says Clay.  

Clay also designs and decorates each store with the help of his mother, Pat. In early 2017 Clay was able to work on a unique project when Cavender’s partnered with Luskey’s/Ryons in the historic stockyards. The 1896 building store was completely remodeled and opened in February as Cavender’s Stock Yards Outfitter; Cavender says it’s the “coolest western store in the best cowboy town in the world.”

“Pretty much everything you see in our stores has at least been seen by my eyes or touched by hands, or both,” says Clay. “I still love to see customers come through the doors for the first time and enjoy all the hard work our people put in to get a store open.”

THA Retailer of the Year Award – Past Recipients

2016 Tony Lippi, Panama Hat Company 
2015 Ben Goorin, Goorin Hats
2014 John McKernan, Chapel Hats
2013 Elliot and Susan Shushan, Shushan’s
2012 Jessen Fitzpatrick and Andria Rapagnola, Salmagundi For Ladies & Gents
2011 Bernie Utz, Utz Hats
2010 Martin Mann, Hats Plus
2009 Sam H. Meyer, Meyer the Hatter
2008 Ernest DelMonico, DelMonico Hatter
2007 Bob Goodman, Just Hats II
2006 Corrie Oranje, Hat Guys
2005 Sheila Hudson, Sheplers Inc.
2004 Alvin Lansky, Mister Hats
2003 Sonny Legum, Stark & Legum
2002 Arnold Rubin, Arnold Hatters
2001 Paul Wasserman, Henry the Hatter
2000 Fred Belinsky, Village Hat Shop
1999 Stanley Goldstein, Bencraft