In what sense is your approach unique?
I use my hands as a support to iron materials instead of hat blocks. It makes me feel free in my creation process. The other thing is my flowers. I decided to handcraft them myself. They are actually like pearls. They became my personal signature, unique and exclusive.
Do you think your work is valued enough?
No, I don’t. There is a lot of low cost competition in my field. But a handcrafted haute couture hat is like an investment, like a piece of art. I don't follow any trends, just my own fantasies. It gives me profound happiness. I can’t see it as just a business.
© Pablo Paniagua
What's your relationship like with your clients?
To discover what the client is seeking takes a long time when you make a hat. You need a long process, not to hurry. It’s difficult to prepare materials and colours. You need concentration and accuracy. I am very intuitive. I need time. Everything is made to measure in my workshop.
In what sense can a hat maker innovate?
I'm not innovative. I don’t like technology, I am a craftswoman. All my pieces are timeless and depend on sizing, wires, steam and ironing. Then I prepare the dye in hot water or in alcohol. I make my hats from one piece. Innovation for me is perfection.