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At first it was all about gaining attention — and access.
When Federica Moretti first moved to New York from Milan in 2004, she started designing quirky headwear, hoping that her edgy look would gain her access into hot clubs such as Avalon and B Bar.
Over the past few years, this pastime has morphed into a full-time job for the 25-year-old designer. Moretti, who has a background in photography and the visual arts, initially created hats for the runway shows of Moschino, Mila Schön and Giuliano Fujiwara, and two years ago struck out with a line called Federica Moretti Handmade. In January, for the first time, she showcased her wares at the Pitti W trade show in Florence.
Moretti likes to tweak classic staples, such as top hats, berets and bowler styles, with modern, extravagant twists. The results include bowlers sliced in half, voluminous berets and superwide-brimmed fedoras. She works with anything from lapin to cashmere to felted wool, adorning each one-of-a-kind hat with brightly colored contrasting linings.
“Each collection is unique and each hat, regardless of the style, features personalized, hand-finished details,” Moretti says.
The color palette runs from earth tones to icy grays with flashes of ruby red and turquoise. Prices range from 60 euros, or $76 at current exchange, for a cashmere bonnet to 300 euros, or $383, for a rabbit version.
In the U.S., Moretti’s line is carried exclusively by Barneys New York.