Bespoke hat designer and native New Yorker Teressa Foglia swept across the Lone Star State recently making her first visit to the Round Top Antiques Show and hosting pop-ups in Austin, Dallas and Houston. Not only was she blown away by all that she encountered, but hat aficionados went wild for her eponymous collection of unique chapeaux. So much so that she is considering adding a Texas branch to her stable of five storefronts.
At each watering hole on her trek through Texas, Foglia introduced some 100 of her stunning ready-to-wear hats, all of which are handmade from sustainably sourced furs, felts and straws, decorated with vintage ribbons and trim, and lined with laces found in flea markets and vintage silks culled from scarf finds.
PaperCity visited with the contemporary milliner and her creative director, business partner and boyfriend Tyler Hays Wild just prior to their pop-up in the Garden Bungalows at Houston’s La Colombe d’Or. The following day they set up shop at Katia where the time slots for custom consults were filled almost as soon as the invitation went out.
On this day, Foglia is wearing an adorably quirky hat that was custom-designed for one of her friends, one she borrowed for this road trip. For the photos, she donned one of her more subdued retail designs while posing with more than a dozen hats.
“We have a unique range where we can do the simple and elegant,” Wild says. “And we can also do the abstract and the sort of a wild one-of-a-kind and then anything in between.”
Surprising to both Foglia and Wild, the line’s more elegant, conservative hats won the love from Texans while the tie-dyed cowhide western hats that they had expected to soar played second on the sales sheets. And then there is the custom option.
“They come to us to put their personal story on their hat. They bring their own charms. They bring their own heirloom pieces,” Foglia says. “All the hats have vintage silk or lace liners on the inside, and can be customized.”
One of the two Bungalows where the hats are on display also has a sewing machine, antique ribbons, fabric swatches, charms and more so that a hat could be customized on site. Typically the custom-made hat requires four to six weeks for delivery.
The in-stock hats are priced from $75 for simple straw to $1,890 for a western-weight fur felt in Rose Gold Chrome Paint.
While the felt and fur hats are handmade in the Brooklyn and Malibu shops, the panama straws are made by workers in a fourth-generation operation in Ecuador. The very casual 100 percent recycled denim hats are made by a single family in Guatemala as part of the New Denim Project. The $75 straws are made in Colombia with 50 percent of sales going back to the family that produces them. As Foglia explains, everything is produced in small batches and in support of local communities and artisans.
Additional retail outlets are located in Laguna Beach, Palm Springs and New York’s Nolita neighborhood.
Round Top Appeal
“Rancho Pillow was unlike anything I could have imagined and Round Top was a dream,” Foglia enthused. “I was screaming. It was the most magical thing. The best way I could describe it to anyone is that it’s Burning Man meets antiquing.
“Everyone shows up. Everyone has their own camp, their own look, their own vibe. You go back to your camp at night then it all disappears in four weeks.”
Foglia and Wild bunked in an Airstream trailer on the Rancho Pillow property and she says that she is committed to never missing the biannual event. She even called her mother back in New York to say that the family needed to buy property there.
“I am obsessed, I need to live here. It’s crazy. It’s amazing,” she tells PaperCity.
In the relatively short time that Teressa Foglia has launched, the collection has received celebrity love from a cast that includes Owen Wilson, Cindy Crawford, Gerard Butler, John Mayer, Catherine Zeta-Jones, Keri Russell, Jamie Chung and designer Kelly Wearstler, who Foglia ran into in Round Top.
Original posted at www.papercitymag.com