My art comes from lessons learned early in life. Throughout my childhood, spent in the desert of Joshua Tree, California, hats protected me from the unforgiving sun, and kept me warm on star-watching nights; they were integral to my life, a constant accompanying me on my childhood adventures. My father was a geologist, and I often accompanied him on his hikes through the desert. On these geological expeditions, while endeavoring to strike gold, I discovered something more precious – my creative calling.
I understood from an early age, that my true passion was for the arts. My grandmother taught me to paint at a young age, and at 14 I bought my first camera. I pursued a BA in photography and have worked as a photographer for most of my adult life, and began jewelry making later in my career. Then I discovered the art of millinery, it connected me to my childhood and sparked a creative curiosity in me that I felt obliged to follow through with. I quickly took millinery classes at the Fashion Institute of Technology and founded my own hat making studio in New York’s East Village.
I have poured my long history of art making, my artistic experience, skills and passion into hat making. I love the traditional craftsmanship, the artistic styling, sourcing of one-of-a-kind materials, finding inspiration in the centuries’ long history of both utilitarian and fashion hat making, and bringing it all to bare on my own creations. I brand and burn symbols and images that inspire the mythology of the person wearing the hat. Using handmade objects made with precious metals and other symbolic talisman that match the theme that is then weaved into the millinery concept.
It’s undeniable that hats are predominantly utilitarian, in fact the first hats were created to protect the wearer from the elements, but that quickly changed, and hats also became status symbols and accessories that defined the fashion of an era. I am interested in how hats define the individual wearer, how they enhance someone’s personal aesthetic and style, while at the same time offering utility.
My hats are custom-made. I work with my clients directly to design a hat unique to them alone - I care deeply about understanding their needs and working in partnership with them to bring to life their vision. I source my materials with a meticulous attention to quality, and I make the hats and all their accessories in my New York studio. I am part of the process from beginning to end, and each hat I make, is its’ own work of art that I take great pride in.
I would love to create a hat for you and I know you will love wearing your handmade hat as much as I loved making it for you. Contact or go to the custom page. Let’s get started.
Stan Gaz