I’ve always been a girl who wears hats: from beanies to ball caps to vintage straw situations, a look to me is never fully realized until there’s a hat on top. I use them so much in my styling work that clients have teased me about it before. But I weirdly feel like it’s my job to preserve a place in this world for great hats; too few people really wear them today. I love them and I’m determined to help carry the torch! It’s getting harder and harder to find epic headwear for the shoots I style, as designers across the industry struggle to stay in business while their craft falls out of fashion. One of my favorite remaining resources is Satya Twena, and when I heard about her Kickstarter campaign to save one of the Garment District’s great hat factories, I knew I had to lend support to the cause. The factory has been open for forty years, hand making hats for everyone from Frank Sinatra to Brad Pitt, and doing the production for Satya’s own namesake line. One day, she suddenly got a call from the owner saying they were closing down and she needed to come pick up her stuff; they’d be selling off all the materials and equipment piece by piece. The ancient wood molds, drying ovens, felt forms and extensive archives would be separated forever. When an institution like this closes, an art form inches closer to extinction. It can never truly be recreated.
Satya knew she had to save the factory and its employees, some of whom have worked there since its inception. Together with her cousin Malka, in two weeks she scraped up enough money to buy the entire operation. Unfortunately, keeping its doors open and its artisans employed is still another hurdle. So far they’ve been able to hire back 3 of the 9 original workers, but they’re determined to go all the way. To make that happen, they invited a handful of friends and tastemakers to design a small collection of limited edition hats, with 100% of the sale proceeds going toward rehiring the original team and keeping the lights on as long as possible. I believe deeply in preserving traditions like these, and hope you too will support the cause by ordering the hat I designed (also seen HERE). I set out to create the perfect everyday fall/winter hat, to replace the straw Stetson I wore all summer, and was inspired by the idea of deconstructing a classic fedora: adding height to the crown, hand-shaping an endearingly asymmetric brim, then looping a long, swooping feather through the lip, rather than the band. It’s equal parts classic and off-kilter ~ just the way I like things!
|PHOTOS| by Zachary Lynd |CLICK HERE| to further explore and support Satya Twena’s #SaveManHATtan campaign
|IN RELATED NEWS| The New York Times recently ran an interesting article in its business section about Nanette Lepore, another friend of mine who is fighting tirelessly to save the garment industry in New York. Read it HERE.