Meet 7 Next Generation Milliners Who Make Hats Even Cooler
Warning: hats are back and better than ever. Gone are the days when hairstyle was associated with the ostentatious displays of Royal Ascot or the hapless trilby that has become a cheesy flaw – a new wave of talented milliners is breaking the internet with their signature designs.
From Rihanna’s custom Benny Andallo faux fur bucket hat (it shows the power of exaggerated proportions) to the modern black velvet beret by Harry Styles from James Pink Studios and the eight inch tall Esenshel theatrical number Jennifer Lopez wore in Fashion. Milan Week, designers are pushing the boundaries of contemporary hat making.
Here, Vogue meet seven ingenious milliners you must know by now.
Self-proclaimed “stupid crown designer” Benny Andallo, 28, has made waves with his psychedelic designs (Rihanna and Shygirl are fans). His work isn’t silly – the Filipino-British milliner puts fun at the center of his designs, with the aim of uplifting and boosting the wearer’s confidence.
What inspires your creations?
“Growing up in London, I have always been inspired by the city’s eclecticism. My creations are a union of these influences, and wanting to season and spice up the traditional.
What makes your pieces unique and who is the person of your dreams to dress?
“I make each hat myself and make design decisions as I go; it’s very instinctive. I would scream [with joy] if I saw Gemma Collins or Katie Price in my hats.
How do you stay creative at the moment?
“[Creativity] keeps your mind stimulated and distracted from the current gloom. I want to create for the brighter days of the future. “
“I like to think of adults playing around dressing in my hats the same way a child would,” says artist and milliner Maryam Keyhani, 39, Tehran-born and Berlin-based, about of his imaginative creations. With a knack for voluminous shapes and delightful textures, the designer blurs the line between sculpture and hat making.
What do you like about hats?
“You put on a hat and it does what you need to do: protect you, attract or distract, play or hide.”
What makes your pieces unique and who did you love to see wearing your work?
“I don’t have any hat-making experience and find that to be an advantage. Kids are my favorite clothes, they put on a hat and instantly turn into a fantasy world.
What are your hopes for the future of fashion in a post-pandemic world?
“So that it is less about trends than about joy, pleasure and play.”
From Bella Hadid and Kaia Gerber to Madonna, 31-year-old Ruslan Baginskiy has become the cult celebrity hat brand. Reinventing classic pieces, including the fedora and boater, into contemporary wardrobe staples, the Ukrainian milliner intends to make headwear accessible and cool again.