Alex Tilley was born in 1938 in Mount Albert, Canada and graduated from the University of British Columbia.
Alex was a self-employed art consultant and avid sailor. Tired of hats that blew off his head, sank when they fell into the water or shrunk when they got wet, he decided to oversee the creation of his own ideal sailing hat. After several months of research and the assistance of a sail maker, he designed and made a hat for himself. When sailors asked for one, he made and sold hats as a hobby.
The great success of the Tilley Hat led to the formation of Tilley Endurables, makers of Tilley Hats, designed and manufactured in Canada and enjoyed around the world.