Brad Tilden, Hollywood’s Go-To Cowboy Hat Maker


The cowboy hat is as much a part of Western Americana as you can get, so it’s only fitting that an authentically Montana destination like Billings would be home to Rand’s Hats, a custom hat-making shop that has called the city home since 1973.

Third-generation citrus farmer Brad Tilden and his family are the current owners of Rand’s Hats and help to carry on the shop’s rich legacy. Tilden is somewhat of a local celebrity, given Rand’s Hats’ decades-long affiliation with Hollywood Westerns and the celebrities who star in them.

Rand’s Hats has provided costume crews working on John Wayne and Clint Eastwood movies with the iconic hats that were worn during the films. And even today, big names like Dennis Quaid and Tim McGraw often turn to Rand’s Hats to create a custom look.

According to Tilden, cowboy hats originally become customized based on how a real cowboy would handle them, grabbing them by the top or by the brim. These personal preferences created the many shapes and styles we see in today’s cowboy hats.

So if you want to look like a real cowboy or cowgirl traveling through Montana, swing by Rand’s Hats for a Hollywood-worthy topper.

Billings’ own Brad Tilden and family own Rand’s Hats, a custom cowboy hat shop that has made creations for the likes of John Wayne, Clint Eastwood, Dennis Quaid and Tim McGraw. Photo courtesy of Visit Billings

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