Interview with Hat & Headpiece Designer Zsófi Vecsei

Aspiring Hungarian fashion designers hold a special place in our heart, we are always delighted to promote their work. This time, we interview hat and headpiece designer Zsófi Vecsei, who shared interesting facts with us regarding her profession.

Photo: Kriszti Németh

Why did you choose this career?

I’ve always been interested in fashion and handicraft. A dear relative of mine once mentioned hat designing and linked me up with a milliner in Budapest. I immediately fell in love with this profession. I’ve been working as a hat maker and designer for almost 10 years now. My own brand was established in 2016, prior to that I was studying, developing my skills, and also worked at a bigger studio in London.

What makes your hats special?

Every year there’s at least one exciting colour in my collection. This time I picked turquoise, while in previous years a faded lavender and baby pink were my choices.  I like when a hat is special both in shape and colour, and I’m happy to see that more and more people are open to that. I follow my own set of rules that even a classical shape can become unique. I prefer fine lines to edgy shapes and also, a little asymmetry never killed nobody. My ultimate goal is to create contemporary pieces with a classic edge.

Photo: Kriszti Németh

What do you like to do the most?

Making custom pieces for special occasions like fashion shows, horse races, weddings, or fun parties are always exciting to make. My customers like to look stunning, and a hat or a headpiece is a perfect finishing touch. I’m always happy when someone orders a piece like that.

Where are your products available?

Currently, I only work for the Hungarian market: my hats are available at MARGOT concept store, as well as in my own studio. I am working on expanding my capacity to enter the foreign market. Fortunately, the number of foreigners interested in my brand is continuously growing. Once a customer contacted me because wherever she travels, she orders a hat from there. At the end, she didn’t stop at just one.

Photo: Kriszti Németh

How long does it take to make a hat?

It depends on what type of hat we are talking about. The regular pieces in my collections take less time than custom-made ones. The process could take as long as 40 hours. Usually, I need at least 2 days to finish any piece. These products are handmade, and the drying of the material only takes up to 24 hours.

Based on what should we choose a hat?

In my opinion, the most important is that you feel good when wearing a hat. You must like how the colour and the shape looks on you, and have the feeling that you will pull it off and look great in it. Also, the chosen hat should go well with your other wardrobe items, and fit to your lifestyle.

How much does it cost, and why should we all own one?

A good hat feels invisible. It gives you an extra, some kind of an unexplainable fizzle. It’s the icing on the cake that crowns your outfit. Even a simple jean – shirt combination can be spiced up with a hat. In Hungary, my products are considered to be in a higher price range, but in the international market they are actually quite cheap. Nonetheless, I want to create something that is not a seasonal purchase but a style investment. If you take good care of your hat, you’ll be able to wear it for years. But just like shoes need maintenance, hats also have to be cleaned and dusted. How you store them also matters, you shouldn’t put them on top of each other, for instance.

Photo: Kriszti Németh

What are the rules of wearing a hat?

There are many rules, indeed. Lately, I’ve noticed that when it’s raining, more and more hats appear on the streets. Even though there are waterproof hats which are perfect for that weather, risking to soak an ordinary piece isn’t a good idea. Many things could happen to a hat before it loses shape or gets seriously damaged, but using it instead of an umbrella is no way recommended. Also, a hat has a front and a back side, and I often see people wearing it the other way around, probably because they think it looks better that way. But in my opinion, it’s just not the right hat for them.

Photos: Egy jó kép rólad (Kriszti Németh)