MEET THE DESIGNER NADA QUENZEL
Please introduce yourself and your brand!
As a product- and photo designer I’m combining two of my passions, featuring faces and showcasing handcrafted design. To transform the traditional millinery into a new and individual context, I’m spending a lot of time experimenting with different techniques and hat shapes. My designs underline the individuality of the wearer through a clear design. All models are carefully crafted in my studio in Berlin.
What is the most important consideration when designing a new collection?
Many of my hats are unisex … timeless, puristic and universal. I pay special attention to wearing comfort. The summer hats are light, breathable and adapt themselves to the headshape of its wearer through their braided structure.
For my Autumn/Winter collection I’m using fine hair felt, mainly in velour, smooth hair and melusine. Those materials not only impress with their classy optical characteristics and a soft grip, but furthermore they are warming, windproof and water-repellent.
What inspires you the most? Do you have a muse?
The sources of my inspiration are very diverse, ranging from classic movies like Fellini’s 8 ½, to impressions from my travels as well as targeted searches for special materials. I found many rarities in old, traditional shops in Paris, for example.
Could you please tell a bit more about the production process?
I produce my hat collection by hand, using traditional hat makers techniques, with special attention to high quality, natural materials. For example, for the braiding I’m using renewable raw materials, like paper yarn and parasisal straw. Paper yarn is made from silk paper, which is cut or torn into stripes, then coated with celluloid (bioplastics composed of cellulose).
For parasisal straw, fibers from sisal agave are used. Handwoven hat bases, dyed in Italy serve as a starting material. Many of my hat models are developed on very old wooden hat blocks. Only a few models I’m shaping by hand. It takes time to create a perfect hat.
What exciting plans do you have for the year ahead?
The Autumn/Winter collection ‘17/18 will definitely be extended by a few models for men!