Designers creating one-of-a-kind handmade products
If the art of dressing up our own bodies is a matter of countless conversations, then imagine the fuss that comes with wearing objects on top of our heads. We are here to talk about some headpieces that have actual heads turning around in the streets – Satya Twena collection of women’s hats.
Satya Twena is not the kind of designer that used to create paper and flower hats ever since she was a kid. She is the kind of creative persona that only after growing up discovered a way of expressing her creative anxiety through design. (Actually, some of the most interesting designers we know didn’t know that they would turn out finding their true passion in fashion and accessories design). This former interior designer was never a stranger to the art world, but she discovered her love of designing hats by chance, taking an evening class at FIT in millinery in 2009.
Shortly afterwards Twena’s mother was diagnosed with breast cancer, which resulted in the initiation of her now lauded millinery career, as well as the realization that she wanted to live every day to the fullest. What started as a hobby turned out to be a way of expressing her own creative self, as told by the designer in an e-mail interview we conducted last month. “I just had all these energy and didn’t know how to release it… it just ended up being creating energy.” (see Jacob’s Creek True Character Series).
Twena business grew rapidly from making hats and caps for her mother, to receiving orders from friends, family, and word of mouth clients. Twena is one of the few couture milliners based in New York City. She sells to a range of upscale boutiques and department stores, and also enables customers to shop from her own e-commerce site and have costum hats made personally! Talk about small luxuries.
In ST’s collection there is a hat for every kind of woman – and a range that goes from casual to black-tie occasions, with new takes on felt fedoras, floppy wide brim chapeaus, 20s-inspired cloches, and equestrian riding hats. The designer describes her line as “feminine with a hint of vintage and a dash of sexiness,” which is a product of her use of deep jewel tones, high quality materials and sweet elements, such as pearl pins, and a flower or ribbon here and there.
Twena has kept her business small and intimate. Every hat she produces is made by hand in New York, and although she offers ready-to-wear pieces, the designer continues to design custom hats. “My focus is on quality, longevity and art, not quantity.” Twena has become a master in the art form of transforming a person’s look and style with a single piece. “Also, being able to see and work with the craftsman making your hats – that is true luxury,” says the designer.
Through her craft, not only has Twena found who she is, but she has also strived to reflect her client’s personality through her designs. “What differentiates me and my work is my ability to see past the physical and tap into my client’s character and desires to create wearable art.”
Twena’s newest endeavor is ST’s sister company Discover Pique, a hosiery line that acts as a “monthly curated hosiery subscription.” Sounds like the perfect compliment to the ST woman. Just take feminine classics like a back seam, fine dots, and lacy tights, and top any getup with one of her lush hats!
Images Courtesy of Satya Twena