Percy R. Stith
Born and raised in Boston, Massachusetts, Percy Stith is the son of a Methodist minister and physician. He attended the William Monroe Trotter School and the Pierce School until he left to attend Burke Mountain Academy in northern Vermont to pursue his dream to become a world-class skier.
As an internationally ranked downhill skier by the age of 17, the United States Ski Team took notice invited him to participate in US Ski Team camps during a post-graduate year. After a knee injury cut his professional ski racing career short, Stith enrolled in Bates College where he was named the Benjamin E. Mays scholar and was one of only 2 freshman to race for Bates NCAA Division 1 alpine ski team. Percy took a year off to live with his family in Africa during his father’s service as United States Ambassador to Tanzania. Upon his return to the United States Percy transferred to Morehouse College in Atlanta, Georgia where he studied economics and was the captain of the golf team. Morehouse is the premier black men’s college in America, counting among its distinguished alumni Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
Inspired by family friend and fashion mogul Alexander Julian, Stith went to New York to work for Sean Jean, one of the largest urban men’s fashion companies in the country. It was during this stint at Sean Jean, that Percy was able to absorb the mechanics of the fashion industry.
In January 2005 Percy took the helm as president of Balozi, LLC. While running this fashion company Percy was inspired by his real life experiences; from skiing in New Zealand, to climbing Mt. Kilimanjaro in Tanzania, to mastering the beat of the “Big Apple” and used those experiences to create a line that was versatile as well as aesthetically pleasing.
After the birth of his first child Stith was ready for a change of lifestyle and moved his family to Atlanta, GA. Where he began acquiring distressed real estate in one of the oldest neighborhoods in the city. He quickly became entrenched in the community, and purchased the local coffee shop (The Grounds Coffeehouse) which became a beacon of community organizing.
As the real estate market picked up in Atlanta he was able to realize his dream of moving back to a mountain town and liquidated some real estate assets and moved to Santa Fe, NM. This return to the mountains sparked Percy’s creative fire. His newest project The Stith Collection, is the start of a larger vision to revolutionize the hat industry.