By  on March 31, 2009

NEW YORK — Ann Albrizio, a former women’s and men’s hat designer, died March 23 at her home in Whitestone, N.Y. She was 97.

The family said Albrizio died of natural causes.

Albrizio’s career in millinery spanned more than 50 years. At 16, she started working as a trim designer for a hat company in New York. Two years later, she and a partner opened a one-room shop in Brooklyn.

In 1958, Albrizio formed Albrizio Inc. and moved to 30 West 39th Street here, where the company is still located.

Pillbox hats and turbans were some of her favorite styles to design, but she was probably best known for her feather hats and for handcrafting each design. Her feathered and flowered hats were sold throughout New York and in boutiques in the South and Midwest. Albrizio’s hats and designs were popular among celebrities and churchgoers.

Albrizio was a former adjunct professor of millinery at the Fashion Institute of Technology and also co-author of the book “Classic Millinery Techniques: A Complete Guide to Making & Designing Today’s Hats.” She retired in 1999.

Albrizio is survived by a sister, Marie, and a nephew, David Cicalese, who runs the business.

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