Samantha West Photography
We love a fun hat, and Yestadt Millinery makes some of our favorites--the kind of toppers that would like just right paired with a little floral dress and Keds in a park. Based out of the Lower East Side, Molly Yestadt grew up seeing her mother wear lots of hats, and slowly started experimenting with her own designs. Now, her hats have appeared in the pages of WWD and Nylon, so we caught up with the young desinger.
How do you get your inspiration?
It’s a lot of pulsing what's going on, though I always start with color. I pull from the usual sources including: movies, different still images (we run a pretty active tumblr page), what's going on in the world. In addition, we always try to keep our classics fresh with great colors and details.
You design everything from turbans to top hats to wide brimmed hats. Do you personally have a favorite shape to wear?
I‘ve been into turbans lately. We’re putting a few out in our FW 2010 collection, and they’re really great looking. I always have tons of hats around so it's nice to have options depending on weather. The turbans do much better in the wind then the bowlers do per say. We got this really great fur envelope looking hat in South Williamsburg that’s pretty cool. It looks like a point on your head.
What would be your dream magazine to see your hats in?
I think Don Diva could be cool, or anything that they sell in the Delancey St. subway station! It takes a certain understanding of how to apply hats to make the whole look stronger. Its always refreshing to see a spread where they’re really harnessed to their potential.
I think some girls don't wear hats because they don't like the extra attention you get in them. What would you say to those girls?
I guess the trick is really finding the right hat. The millinery industry is a fraction of what it was and I think as a result we’ve lost a lot of the vocabulary. We get lots of requests for “old timey” or “vintage” looking pieces but there's a lot more going on then that – it's just people haven't been exposed to it. Every hat says something–and its just finding something compatible. If you’re not a loud girl, then a loud hat might not work. A lot of times a well placed hat can work to almost deflect attention in an interesting way.
Yestadt Millinery is available at Henri Bendel.