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New York’s Milliners on The Art of Hat-Making

January 15th is National Hat Day! To celebrate Refinery’s millinery heritage—our hotel was originally a hat factory in the heart of New York’s Garment District—we turned to the experts. Here, several of NYC’s top milliners lift the veil on fashion’s most versatile statement piece, and what they love about it.

The Personal Process


Lower East Side hat designer Lisa Shaub loves the entire process of crafting a perfect product—especially when she can use “rare and delicious fabrics, rich textures, and unusual trims.” To her, “hats are sculptural,” of course, but they’re “also all about working with a person. I enjoy the problem-solving that’s involved in getting it A-plus.”

One word of wisdom for making sure the hat is a good fit? “It needs to feel comfortable. If you’re comfortable, you’re sexy.”

Lisa Shaub Fine Millinery: 134 Orchard St; 212-965-9176

The Outfit-Maker


Linda Pagan has been a fixture to the city’s hat scene since the mid-90s, when she opened her SoHo boutique, The Hat Shop. (Check out our In Bed With… interview with her here). Why does she think hats have had such staying power as an outfit necessity? “Without the hat you’re just wearing clothes.”

The Hat Shop: 120 Thompson St; 212-219-1445 

The Connection to the Past


From her East Village Hats boutique on 7th Street, Julia Knox creates hats using traditional methods that’ve remained unchanged for a century. She loves the “hands-nature of the process…So many of our tools are really old, and working with them gives me a real feeling of connection with the past.” And what does every great hat need? “A good line,” she says. “I like hat shapes to be simple and succinct, with a clear line.”

East Village Hats: East Village Hats 80 E 7th St.; 212-358-7092

The Best Version of Yourself


To East Village milliner Lynn Paik, hats are “enhancements—to the outfit and the wearer as well. Hats should bring out the personality of the individual. When wearing a hat, you should feel like the best version of yourself.” Cheers to that!

Lynn Paik Millinery: 220 E 10th St.; 212-677-6797

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