One crafty millener and his ever-growing custom hat-making company lives amongst a dying breed.

olrando-worth-and-worth-art-hat-making-shk copy

 mil·li·ner

n.

One that makes, trims, designs, or sells hats.

The dilution of American craftsmanship is an issue New Yorkers have been fighting for years. Huge fashion houses like H&M create a long list of wearable “things,” that last us maybe a couple of months. They sell us hats for $14.00 and you know what, it just doesn’t feel right sitting on top of our heads. It’s sort of pretending to be a hat, if you know what we mean. The same story follows the milliner. How the art of hatmaking ever came to be is totally up to your imagination, but the future of them is what’s daunting.

That is until you find out about Worth and Worth. Established in 1922, Worth and Worth has been producing and selling handcrafting hats to the most important and most down to earth of people all over the word, from button-up financial district guys to rock stars, to golden girls. Owner Orlando Palacios learnt the craft of carving wooden hat forms and what happened after that, well…

I’m funneling through my instagram newsfeed and following all my main fashion gals, Natalie Off Duty, Trop Rouge, Flashes of Style, Color Me Nana, Jaglever, Running in Wedges, Something Navy … And I’m noticing an unlikely thread throughout all of them. Finally it comes to me like a sudden slap on the cheek. It’s in the hat they are wearing. I’m thinking… There’s something about the kind of hat; the full brim, the tassle, the delicate features, the felt. As I do my nerdy fashion research, I find they are all coming from one place. A tiny shop on W. 57th street called Worth and Worth. The shop is dressed in old timey photos, books with illustrations of hats from the 20s, a wide range of colors and shapes fill the room.

The the next discovery is in Orlando, the man behind the story. He’s warm and his wife greets me with their little girl wrapped around her front, she shakes my hand and speaks in a inspired and lovely french accent. Orlando is wearing a scarf makes the space between the buttons of his grey sweater home. His curls are unruly and are sculpted and sitting perfectly under a beautiful black custom hat. He speaks widly about his love for the process of making one. He also goes through the name of each blogger. Each one, we learn, has a story behind the hat, each one took part in this special collaboration and was present through the design process. What we found in the end is that a marriage between Worth and Worth and a handful of talented and lovely bloggers makes for a wonderous match. After all, we say, what’s worn form the neck up, can be the most interesting part about an outfit. So, hat lovers, step into the “kitchen” at Worth and Worth.

 

SHK + WORTH AND WORTH from SHK on Vimeo.

“A hat is a flag, a shield, a bit of armor, and the badge of femininity. A hat is the difference between wearing clothes and wearing a costume; it’s the difference between being dressed and being dressed up; it’s the difference between looking adequate and looking your best. A hat is to be stylish in, to glow under, to flirt beneath, to make all others seem jealous over, and to make all men feel masculine about. A piece of magic is a hat.” — Martha Sliter

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[feature image photographed by David Carlo]

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