NY’s Hat Men

Romance is in the hat.


The latter part of one morning this week found me hand in hand with hat milliner, connoisseur and general enthusiast in the most authentic sense of that word, Gigi Burris.

We met under the premise, by way of a mutual spirit angel, that together we would construct a hat for my head for fashion week among other events that called for personalized hats (see: embroidered -isms,) and so she took me through her dynamic process introducing me to the midtown hat-men: makers, fellow milliners, trim pals.

Perhaps the most notable moment of the process revealed itself at the most majestic little factory hidden deep inside the garment district. All hail Abrizio Hat Factory. As Gigi pointed out, there’s just something so romantic about the notion of hand-made anything. Especially, I added, in the over-digitized world we live in.

The man photographed above, standing beside two wooden pieces: a fedora crown and large hat brim, (he was nothing short of interested in, albeit baffled by my decision to pair such a crown with a brim that wide,) goes by the name Blue, sings along to 80s power tunes at very high volume, has a few decent dance moves to share and the most sage advice to offer.

Upon accidentally dropping a crown (we were surrounded by roughly 200 different variations,) that landed directly on his foot, I apologized profusely.

He just laughed though.

“Around here, you’ve got to expect shit will fall,” he said. “We’ll get hurt: burned, bruised, scarred. But it’s like my great uncle always said: don’t worry, it happens.”

Repurposed from Manstagram. It was too good a New York moment to get lost amid lucite clutches, golden heels.

Read also: Hunger for Tangible Creativity

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  • Christina

    It is such a romantic notion to have something handmade for you- something that you molded to precisely what you wanted.. and it will always have a great story attached! 

    Christina, bohemianwild.blogspot.com

  •  Very relevant advice, I must say…

  • Liz

    very cool post!


  • Gabrielle Langlois

    At first, I thought the hats were bread! Anyway, I love handmade and, great advice.

    Gaby Lang,

  • Love your post! It must have been an amazing experience, how long did it take to make from start to finish? Looking forward to seeing the final product at the fashion week!

  • Marina Casapu

    custom made hat – chic!!!


  • Rhiannon Lorenzo
  • Sounds lovely. Love the advice. 


  • monkeyshines



  • Guest

    more of these! more of these!

  • Nat

    I agree- from bespoke clothing to furniture to accessories, there is something special about owning a custom piece and owning the ONLY ONE. Today, I feel like it’s a question of “do you want your piece to be hand crafted, personal and unique (but take a lot of time to make)?” or “do you want your piece immediately but massed produced?” Some times you just have to pick and choose. Hope you’re having a wonderful weekend!



  • Cleo

    so cool how they make these hats from scractch yours is going to turn out great i hope it is man repeller worthy though


  • The Provoker

    wow, you’re so lucky you get to have customized hats for fashion week, I’m lucky can even find one who’d lend me one haha.. I just found a vintage KTZ plastic & faux fur grid coat, it’s quite a show stopper, check it out if you’re ever curious as to what it looks like haha-

    xx nathan.niche

  • Diana

    This is amazing, i’ve been loving wearing hats lately! And it must be such an exciting experience to be able to get one that’s made to order! Can’t wait to see how it came out! 


  • Nice blog, jsut discovered it. Congrats. Greetings from Italy.


  • justmoi

    Can I comment if I have no blog to promote?

    • Leandra

      Haha. It’s encouraged.

    • Four_legs_good

      i was thinking exactly the same thing. espesh because of the “love this!” … website… comments. just click the like button?

  • Love this post. That guy sounds so laid-back and cool.

  • Whichclothestoday
  • Thegaragestarlets

    Really nice post!It’s different when you put your heart in something



  • Kate

    great pictures, I am such a fan of hats, but I seem to loose them all the time, so no handmade for me..
    xx Kate http://style-department.blogspot.com

  • Rebecca Rose

    ah, the journalist comes out.

  • cassie dzienny

    Very cool post. http://ihavetude.com/2012/08/19/day-230-ihavetude-does-food/

  • fpepper

    This is a really lovely post x


  • Catherine and Greer

    This is just the cutest, most perfect little article 🙂 
    Plus cannot bloody wait to see that fedora-big brim love child hat!!!!! Definitely will also be worth more than a manstagram post when it comes out.


  • Stylerage

    ohh! i’d love to get my hands on those!


  • Cassandra Too
  • ClosetCravings

    If something is custom made it does seem more special, especially when it is a gift.
    Satisfy Your Cravings For Celebrity Style and All Things Stylish and Sweet

  • i want to meet blue. i wish he could be a regular on tmr with quips of advice for the rest of us poor souls.


  • Leebs

    Handmade hats??? YESTADT MILLINERY!!!!!!

  • but…things ARE still handmade. most of our garments coming in from overseas are still being sewn together with a pair of human hands. we are discrediting these craftsmen (and women) as just machines made of human flesh who aren’t providing an air of romance & nostalgia. let’s find a new word for what you’re going for here…is couture the right one?