Twenty-five years of anything is certainly reason to celebrate, especially when it's time stylishly spent in business. Traditionally, silver is the way to go for such a grand milestone, but in the case of the ever creative, playfully irreverent Eugenia Kim, cigarettes, coke, and General Tso’s Chicken ought to do the trick.
The milliner has designed a most covetable capsule of smile-inducing, head-turning fascinators, hats and headbands simply dubbed The Icon Collection - the perfect toppers for cheeky party girls and sophisticated doyennes alike.
Have you always been a hat person?
Yes, when I was growing up, I collected hats. Even in college, I would wear crazy Ziegfeld Follies beaded hats. I went to Dartmouth, which is a conservative frat school. I was really a fish out of water.
What was the first ever hat you ever designed?
A teal feathered cloche with orange accent feathers that were abstract fish, inspired by Matisse’s goldfish paintings.
Who are some of your hat muses?
Elsa Schiaparelli and Coco Chanel, both of whom started off as hat designers. I love them both not only for their hats, but for everything they have created. I have a vision and an aesthetic and hope to grow that into a more holistic one with a Eugenia Kim world of products.
Schiaparelli: I am a surrealist, my favorite hat is her shoe hat. I loved that she consorted with and drew inspiration from Dali and Magritte.
Chanel: I love the black, white, and pink, and classic, feminine designs that have always stayed true to the brand. I love the tweed hats and chains.
Why do some people just look better in hats than others?
It’s not that some people look better than others, it’s that some haven’t found the right hat. But to be honest, the most important accessory to have when wearing a hat is confidence.
Where would you love to see someone wearing your Ciggy Fascinator?
It would be obvious to wear it to a party, but I like the contrast of glamorous with gritty, like the attached photo of me outside of our 25th Anniversary event, celebrating the debut of the Icon Collection. I like the idea of something glamorous juxtaposed with the every day, like picking up the kids after soccer or grocery shopping. It brings joy to the mundane, every day life.
What about the Cookie or Loxanne fascinators?
Same as above. Cookie is obviously a party hat. Loxanne, I like the ridiculousness of an everything bagel paired with a seriously sexy look; hence, why I paired it with a white Herve Leger bandage dress both for my shoot and for my event. The everything bagel is everything and every day. Ha!
Any tips for avoiding hat hair?
Put your hair up into a ponytail after you take your hat off. I also like messy hair. I literally wear many hats every day and my hat hair just kind of blends into my mane. Another trick is to wet a brush and brush your hair and then the hat hair kinks come out right away.
In your 25 years of designing, have you ever had an idea that you just couldn't nail but still can't shake?
I’ve always been able to figure out how to make most hats, even if I don’t figure it out that day, sometimes it takes me thinking about it. For instance, for years I wanted to make a General Tso’s Chicken hat and then I finally executed it this year.
[Photos courtesy Eugenia Kim]