Studio Tours: Satya Twena Millinery

We made an appointment with Satya Twena at her East Village millinery, and after an hour, were quickly converted to the one true accessory.

14 photos
The Thread
We made an appointment at Satya Twena's by-appointment-only studio, where she works out of her apartment in a light-filled, plum-hued space brimming with vintage hat blocks, found fabric scraps from stingray to lace and, of course, hats. Luca the chihuahua runs the show.
@twitter / Cameron Bay
To score a custom Satya Twena headpiece, people make an appointment and go to Twena's studio, or she goes to them. They talk about the type of event, what kind of style they're looking for (if they know that much), and their lifestyle. A tip from Twena: bring along a piece of inspiration, whether it's an image torn from a magazine two years ago or a painting.
The Thread
Twena is putting out feelers for store space in the next year or so, because she's outgrowing her home studio: "My apartment is overflowing with boxes, they're everywhere." Not to mention, feathers, lace and other embellishments.
Getty Images
"I took a hat class, and once I started blocking hats, I was obsessed. Obsessed! I started collecting vintage blocks." The wooden forms serve as molds for various sizes and styles.
The Thread
Twena demonstrates the process of "blocking", whereby fabric is stretched over head forms of different sizes (all the while modeling her sequin turban).
The Thread
Storyboards and vintage tassel necklaces found in Paris populate the doorway.
Here, a selection of Satya Twena styles, from one-of-a-kind party hats to children's couture (that sweet mustard cloche is for kids) and a dramatic lady's stunner swirled with a web of vintage red mesh.
The Thread
This piece was original conceived as a bridal topper, for the lady who truly wants to do something different. The globular skeleton has a delicate "widow's web" woven from the most delicate vintage fibers we've ever felt.
Getty Images
"The turban is going through a cool phase right now, I've gotten a few calls lately for turbans." This sparkle-encrusted topper -- in very-wearable black -- would bring a holiday outfit to life, in our opinion.
The Thread
This whimsical piece is encrusted with a fluttering of applique butterflies, and, set on a headband, is truly throw-on-and-go.
Surprise! The butterfly hat is actually part of Twena's growing children's couture collection, but looks particularly madcap-chic on an adult head, too.
The Thread
We fell head over heels for the spiked beret-headband hybrid. Speaking of heels, spending all this time with hats made shoe obsessions seem downright pedestrian.
The Thread
Think you "can't" wear a hat? Twena doesn't buy it--besides her impeccable skills and creativity when it comes to designing hats, she serves as a walking champion of millinery. After an hour in her studio, you'll likely become one of "those women who wear hats."
Contact Us