Tag Archives: millinery

Millinery in ManHATtan

We live in a world of constant change and developing technology, a world where everything moves so fast. Sometimes this is a brilliant whirlwind to get caught up in, but sometimes this fast-paced world means certain time-honored traditions may fall behind.

So it nearly was with Makins, one of the last remaining millinery factories in New York City’s Garment District. They had been in the city for “forty years, making hats for Frank Sinatra, Brad Pitt, Kim Kardashian, the works.” Our friend, hat designer Satya Twena, had been using their factory for her own collection for a few years, when suddenly everything changed.

“One day we got a call saying, “We closed, come pick up your stuff before we sell it off,” and I ran over here, met with the owner…and literally we needed to come up with money within two weeks. So we raised money pretty quickly to acquire the factory.”

Satya and her cousin Malka made the decision to purchase the factory in order to save not only all the American-made equipment or the hand-carved hat blocks, but to save the employees who worked there, the small business suppliers and the history of millineries in Manhattan. While they were able to make the first major purchase to save the factory, now they’re raising funds in order to continue the tradition of hand-made hat making.

“We’ve raised the money to buy this place, but we don’t necessarily have the funds to run it month to month…we’ve started a Kickstarter to help support it, and also get awareness out there of the fact that an American-made hat is something that would be lost forever unless we do something about it.”

All of the money raised on Kickstarter is going to the preservation of the factory, hiring back the employees, and getting the factory up and running again.

We spent an afternoon in this historic place, making our own custom-made hats with Satya, which you of course can buy through their Kickstarter, or just take a glimpse at what it looks like to go through the generations-old process of creating a hat…

  

A lifetime’s worth of sourcing and materials…

Satya explained to us that these blocks for shaping the hats are all hand carved; some are from Paris, some from London, and having them all together is extremely rare. If she had not bought all the factory’s equipment, the pieces would have been sold off to individuals, and this library of incredible, beautiful history would have been separated forever…

Continue reading…

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It’s time to top off the week, have an exquisite weekend!

(pssssst, my new Yestadt Millinery hat from the Of A Kind sample sale!)



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