The weather has finally turned cooler, and you may be thinking about adding a few new pieces to spruce up your cold weather wardrobe. How about something different? Consider a hat…made right here in Brookside at Amina Marie Millinery.
Amina’s shop is in Brookside East at 633 E 63rd St. She’s a KC native, grew up in Prairie Village and went to textile school in San Francisco. She loved fashion and worked in visual merchandising but really never thought about being a hat maker until a friend asked her to create a hat she could wear to Burning Man. Amina accepted the challenge, Googled some instructions on hat making and … made a top hat that caught the attention of other Burning Man participants. Amina decided millinery was her calling and studied with hatmaker Jeanne Borne in Arizona. Last year she was a finalist in the Lock and Company millinery contest in London. She went to London Hat Week, met others in the business and validated her creativity and business.
Like so many other entrepreneurs, Amina started her business at the kitchen table. As orders grew, she decided she needed more space and moved to Brookside East in May. She wanted a central location for easy client access and because she lives in Brookside–she loves her two minute commute! She knew this area was ‘the right place’ for her and her customers.
Amina explained to me that her aesthetic is “clean and organic–it’s all about the drape of the material.” Of course she can do wild and extravagant custom hats for special occasions like the Kentucky Derby or ComicCon, but most of her hats are more classic — for example, a fedora style. She makes sure that ‘the hat fits the customer’ in terms of sizing and appearance. When I tried on a hat in the studio — I loved how it looked on me, but we both knew it was the wrong color. Amina makes sure the hat works for each unique face and features.
At this time, Amina makes every hat she sells in her Brookside studio. Sometime this fall, she is introducing a ‘ready to wear’ line, working with a manufacturer in New York. She’s starting with 3-4 styles — and for now, offers hats just for women. These hats will be priced around $100-$150.
I asked Amina why she thought hats went out of style. They were so prevalent in the 1950s. She explained that as the children of the ’50s parents grew up–they did not want to be like their elders. They dressed down and considered hats too formal, along with fussy dresses and suits. Today, wearing a hat is certainly practical in the colder weather, but is also a subtle fashion accessory. Wearing a hat gives you a confident, unique appearance–and it’s just fun!
Amina Marie Millinery is open by appointment–but she’s usually in her studio every day and welcomes people to just drop in and see her work. She offers gift certificates too–what a great gift for that difficult -to- buy- for friend! Stop in Amina’s studio and check out her hats at 633 E 63rd St, next to Golden and Pine with easy parking out front.