Millinery is the long upheld craft of designing and manufacturing hats, and there is no one doing it quite like Gladys Tamez. Her burgeoning line has become a go-to for those seeking a sleek, long lasting hat to add to their wardrobe.
The Monterrey born, LA based designer has added a contemporary, downtown street vibe to the market with her line, which launched in 2011. When you think of high end hats, images of the ‘fancy hat’ a la Philip Treacy come to mind. Gladys creates bespoke pieces like this one for Sia, but the hats in her collection are wearable from day to day, made to last and shift through seasons. She experiments with shape, the crown of the hat often a nod to her latest inspiration, whether it’s the zodiac signs or horses in space. She adds character to her canvas by using interesting materials like beaver and various hardware.
Gladys doesn’t give in to the commonly held belief that there’s people who look good in hats and other’s that just don’t. According to her, it’s all about finding the right hat to suit your face shape. The art of making a hat has become a bit lost in the mass consumption era of fast fashion, but in a few short years, Gladys has reclaimed the hat as a worthy investment piece.
We visited Gladys in her showroom in the Fashion District of Los Angeles to learn more about the process behind making one of her hats. She explained the laborious process to us and discussed her favorite materials to work with and the chance visit to a 4th generation Spanish hatmakers shop, that led to the creation of her collection.