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People, Fashion & Trends

A Milliner For A Digital Age

By Sofia Celeste 31 October 2018

MILAN, ITALY - Federica Moretti, 35, basically stumbled into hat making… More like careened from around a corner on her golden roller skates... wearing an unforgettable hat, obviously.

A photographer by trade, Moretti's passion for the art of millinery started in New York, where as a young wanderlust, novice photographer and visual art student, she made a name for herself on the Manhattan party scene with her outrageously tall hats that stood out in crowded lines and got her and her friends directly into clubs.

“My friends used to joke that I should make my hats taller and taller with every party and club opening that came to pass,” Moretti said in an interview with Fairplay.

A native of Modena, Moretti’s parents were slightly dismayed by the fact that she wanted to ditch the vocation she trained for, for something that up until her mid twenties was a mere hobby/passion. But her keen eye and knack for embellishment nailed her some pretty hot jobs designing bold runway headpieces for the likes of Moschino and Jil Sander. And who can forget those lime green lampshade hats at Massimo Giorgetti’s last Pucci show last year?

It’s difficult to find a designer these days who can craft a hat from A to Z, but Moretti is the real deal. In 2012 she cut her teeth at Borsalino, in what started out as a marketing position styling campaigns and lookbooks, but she quickly began learning the ropes — heating, molding and cutting fedoras and accenting trappers, to her own vision.

“I literally got a mens’ shaving razor and cut out a felt hat one day to show them that it could be done,” Moretti said.

After parting ways with Borsalino in 2013, Moretti focused on her own namesake brand. Represented by Milan’s reputable Riccardo Grassi showroom, a Milanese institution responsible for launching the careers of designers like Giambattista Valli, Moretti’s quirky designs have an international following that spans from department stores like Barneys in the US to Isetan in Japan.

“When the forms and materials are classic, it is the color that adds a contemporary twist and a touch of life to the piece, which are impeccably Made in Italy. Each hat is handmade, making it unique and original,” Grassi showroom said, noting that Lady Gaga and Rihanna are just two celebrities who have fallen in love with Federica’s creations.

On that note, Moretti pulled up an Instagram post of Madonna donning one of her fedoras in Vogue Italia. “She liked it so much she wore it on a trip to Malawi. As hot as it was, she wore my hat. When I saw it, I couldn’t believe it.”

Back in Milan, Moretti works out of her studio in the city’s Porta Romana neighbourhood, where you will likely see her strolling around, walking her blue terrier named Blue.

Her latest project is an eyewear line that is characterised by its elaborate, interchangeable straps bedazzled with an array of materials that range from demure pearls to tribal raffia.

Over the years, her personal hat designs have enhanced traditional models with her unmistakable flair. Past collections have been coveted for their secret features like Victorian-era button fasteners and hidden mirrors. Her latest collection features rainproof plastic in bright colours and knit caps adorned with cartoonish bows - perfect for photo shoots and millennial selfies.

“Looking back, I realised that if I was going to make it, I needed to learn how to really make hats on my own and focus less on creating crazy stuff with alternative materials. I don’t really call myself a milliner but at the end of the day, I always end up making the original models all by myself."

 

 

 

Sofia Celeste
FAIRPLAY Editor-in-Chief

When she is not hunting down the latest in tech and fashion, Sofia Celeste is scouting artisan talent for her online magazine bacoluxury.com. Born in the US and raised on the Pacific Island of Guam, she went on to write for Dow Jones Newswires and the Wall Street Journal. Her work is now regularly published in top fashion publications NOWFASHION and WWD.

MILAN, ITALY - Federica Moretti, 35, basically stumbled into hat making… More like careened from around a corner on her golden roller skates... wearing an unforgettable hat, obviously.

A photographer by trade, Moretti's passion for the art of millinery started in New York, where as a young wanderlust, novice photographer and visual art student, she made a name for herself on the Manhattan party scene with her outrageously tall hats that stood out in crowded lines and got her and her friends directly into clubs.

“My friends used to joke that I should make my hats taller and taller with every party and club opening that came to pass,” Moretti said in an interview with Fairplay.

A native of Modena, Moretti’s parents were slightly dismayed by the fact that she wanted to ditch the vocation she trained for, for something that up until her mid twenties was a mere hobby/passion. But her keen eye and knack for embellishment nailed her some pretty hot jobs designing bold runway headpieces for the likes of Moschino and Jil Sander. And who can forget those lime green lampshade hats at Massimo Giorgetti’s last Pucci show last year?

It’s difficult to find a designer these days who can craft a hat from A to Z, but Moretti is the real deal. In 2012 she cut her teeth at Borsalino, in what started out as a marketing position styling campaigns and lookbooks, but she quickly began learning the ropes — heating, molding and cutting fedoras and accenting trappers, to her own vision.

“I literally got a mens’ shaving razor and cut out a felt hat one day to show them that it could be done,” Moretti said.

After parting ways with Borsalino in 2013, Moretti focused on her own namesake brand. Represented by Milan’s reputable Riccardo Grassi showroom, a Milanese institution responsible for launching the careers of designers like Giambattista Valli, Moretti’s quirky designs have an international following that spans from department stores like Barneys in the US to Isetan in Japan.

“When the forms and materials are classic, it is the color that adds a contemporary twist and a touch of life to the piece, which are impeccably Made in Italy. Each hat is handmade, making it unique and original,” Grassi showroom said, noting that Lady Gaga and Rihanna are just two celebrities who have fallen in love with Federica’s creations.

On that note, Moretti pulled up an Instagram post of Madonna donning one of her fedoras in Vogue Italia. “She liked it so much she wore it on a trip to Malawi. As hot as it was, she wore my hat. When I saw it, I couldn’t believe it.”

Back in Milan, Moretti works out of her studio in the city’s Porta Romana neighbourhood, where you will likely see her strolling around, walking her blue terrier named Blue.

Her latest project is an eyewear line that is characterised by its elaborate, interchangeable straps bedazzled with an array of materials that range from demure pearls to tribal raffia.

Over the years, her personal hat designs have enhanced traditional models with her unmistakable flair. Past collections have been coveted for their secret features like Victorian-era button fasteners and hidden mirrors. Her latest collection features rainproof plastic in bright colours and knit caps adorned with cartoonish bows - perfect for photo shoots and millennial selfies.

“Looking back, I realised that if I was going to make it, I needed to learn how to really make hats on my own and focus less on creating crazy stuff with alternative materials. I don’t really call myself a milliner but at the end of the day, I always end up making the original models all by myself."

 

 

 

Sofia Celeste
FAIRPLAY Editor-in-Chief

When she is not hunting down the latest in tech and fashion, Sofia Celeste is scouting artisan talent for her online magazine bacoluxury.com. Born in the US and raised on the Pacific Island of Guam, she went on to write for Dow Jones Newswires and the Wall Street Journal. Her work is now regularly published in top fashion publications NOWFASHION and WWD.

 

Photo courtsey of Federica Moretti

 

Photo courtsey of Federica Moretti

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