Archive for the ‘About’ Category

Who makes hats?
February 23, 2009


Chris Chun blocked this awesome hat for herself in the February Workshop

Chris Chun blocked this awesome hat for herself in the February Workshop

When I tell someone that I am a milliner, they often cock their head and say “What?”  Or if I tell someone I make hats, they say, “Oh, what’s that called, haberdashery?”  There are distinct differences between hatting, millinery, and haberdashery.

Today the term hatter specifically refers to one who makes hats for men.  A milliner is someone who makes hats for women.  In France the term for milliner today is modiste but originally these crafty designers were chapelliers. 

Early milliners have left few records of their business activities but we know they existed in England since the beginning of the 1700s.  The name milliner came from the traveling haberdashers from Milan, Italy.  They sold all aspects of dress and the English called them millaners.  Soon, all who were making stylish hats were called millaners since the materials for use were imported from Milan.

The term haberdasher refers to one who makes men’s clothing and accessories and is a very old term and of uncertain origin.  It was in use as early as the 14th century and in the middle ages haberdashery included daggers, swords, Milan caps, glasses, spoons, knives, and much more. The original haberdasher was probably a peddler or a badger rather than a hatter.  This blog delves into extensive detail on the origins of the term haberdasher

Do you want to learn to make a hat?  Find out more about hat making workshops.


GenArt Selects O’Lover Hats as a Fresh Face in Fashion
October 27, 2008


Fresh Faces in Fashion returns to San Francisco for the 5th year in a row. For the last 13 years, Gen Art’s anchor event, Fresh Faces in Fashion, has shown some of the best emerging fashion designers in womenswear, menswear and accessories on the runway and given runway debuts to fashion’s rising stars.

O’Lover Hats will have some hats on the runway with the fashions of OdileOdette and will show the Fall 08 and Spring 09 line at the after party with 3 other featured accessories designers.  I am thrilled to be a part of this event. Come out and celebrate with us.

Thursday, October 30th
7:00 – 8:00pm: VIP Reception
8:00pm: Doors open to general admission ticket holders
8:30pm: Runway Show in Grand Ballroom
9:15pm – Midnight: After Party

The Regency Center
1300 Van Ness @ Sutter Street
San Francisco, CA


For ticket reservation please visit

An Exuberant Homecoming
June 9, 2008

I just returned from a family wedding in Southern California.  It was hot and sunny and I was the only one who brought hats.  I suited up three of us in some spectacular straws that are part of my new line.  It continually amazes me by how few people wear hats, even among my fabulous family, many of whom live in tropical climates.  They are the best accessory, practically speaking, and the number of complements they bring is only roses on the cake.  Hats are growing more popular and yet, i travel around and unless it is a fashion event, I often am the only one wearing a hat.  (Like other hat enthusiasts, i have acquired the moniker, hat lady.  This nickname sounds sort of old fashioned for a hip 30 year old, but I love it.  I guess I wouldn’t have taken up millinery if I didn’t have some nostalgia for earlier times flowing in my blood!)  This trip, and so many other excursions has fueled my desire to design.  There are so many heads out there waiting for the right hat.

It is exciting starting a business doing something you truly enjoy.  Many relatives and friends want to contribute their ideas on where I should promote my work.  I am grateful for the interest and I love how it is indicative of human nature’s desire to connect people.  I believe it is true that no one exists in a bubble and that momentum is gained quicker when more mass propels it.  I used to get frustrated when people would tell me where i should take my hats or what I might do to assist my growing business, since I already had a long list of action items that I had not yet been able to pick up and incorporate into life’s grand juggling act.  I am becoming more comfortable with the process of growth and learning to enjoy it, as opposed to being stressed out by it.  I see that my designs are also benefiting from relaxing and releasing into the process.