Last night marked the official debut of Hat Make, a new line of hats by Minneapolis milliner Celina Kane. The collection came to life on a makeshift runway along the length of Warehouse District restaurant Spoonriver (which is owned by Kane’s parents, Brenda Langton and Timothy Kane), with the eatery’s tabletops replaced by a row of chairs on either side. The setup made for a cozy, intimate opportunity to view the hats up close as they made their way down the runway.
The designer introduced the collection, dubbed “The Leopard And the Lark,” with one of her own hat designs perked atop her head, smartly paired with a leopard-print blouse—one of the prints echoed throughout the collection. She explained that the fall/winter 2015 collection was inspired by Minnesota’s soft winter landscape and 1960s French and Italian films. The resulting line showed a range of hat silhouettes, from the wide-brimmed wool styles that are currently having a moment in fashion, to ’60s-inspired pillbox hats inscribed with the words “Ciao” and “Salut” (echoing both the bellboy hats from The Grand Budapest Hotel and Bob Dylan’s infamous ode to ’60s “It” girl Edie Sedgwick, “Leopard Skin Pillbox Hat,”), to a pair of luxe, velvet wrapped turbans—the most statement-making pieces of the evening. A fascinator depicting black leaves clinging to circular wires showed the designer’s penchant for whimsy and surrealism, while even the more traditional styles offered unique and thoughtful details, such as a geometric-shaped top on a wide-brimmed wool hat. Luxe fabrics, such as Dupioni silk, silk velvet, Angora fur felt, fox fur trim, and grosgrain trim, elevated each hat to collectible status. Prices range from $180 to $450, with most pieces priced from $250 to $300.
Designer Celina Kane
I talked to Kane about her background in millinery, what inspired her to launch her company in Minnesota, and why Minneapolis is a great place to be in a creative field.
Q: You studied millinery abroad in Paris and New York before returning to your hometown of Minneapolis last year. What brought you back?
A: Living in Paris and New York remain the greatest temptations for me on both a personal and professional level. However, I chose to come back and launch Hat Make in Minneapolis because of the incredible individuals who are invested in small businesses/makers/artists here. There are opportunities for building a business in Minneapolis that are much harder to come by in other major style hubs, and chances to collaborate and take risks that would be costlier (financially and spiritually) in a more competitive atmosphere.
Q: What do you think it about Minneapolis-St. Paul that attracts creative types and design talent?
A: This is perhaps one reason the Twin Cities attract creative talent. I find that makers and the discerning public are very supportive and respectful of everyone’s craft, and willing and eager to “network.” Plus, proximity to nature and experiencing Minnesota’s constantly changing environment are vital to my creative process and I’m sure invites other artistic people to this unique city.
Q: Why do you think Minneapolis a good place to be in a creative field?
A: Minnesota is at a great place politically and economically—it is fostering growth in so many industries. I think the micro-brewery explosion that has taken place over the past few years is a great example of the resurgence of artisanal craft happening in the state and the attention people are giving to the sustainability and provenance the of products they enjoy. It also doesn’t hurt that the costs of living in this city are such that one doesn’t have to hustle to survive and sacrifice their art in the process. The spirit of the Twin Cities community creates a dynamic and livable scene for young artists.
Shop the collection exclusively at hatmake.co.
Here’s a closer look at some of the hats from “The Leopard And the Lark” fall/winter 2015 collection:
[Runway photos by Jahna Peloquin, product images courtesy Hat Make]