News & Runway

Hat Designer Amy Lehfeldt: Beguiling Under Her Brim

Amy Lehfeldt Hat

by Izzy Ruiz for The Cannon Media Group

When I first met Amy Lehfeldt, we were at a jewelry preview. She was soft spoken, sweet – but there was something curious about her I couldn’t figure out, a certain intrigue that was captivating. So I found it a charming surprise that she was a hat designer. For a woman, a hat is much like a mask, a veil that allows her to show just enough without giving away too much. And Amy’s aesthetic plays on that, channeling the reticent femininity of the 1940s. 

I love old movies, old ladies, and timeless vintage clothes — how everyone used to seem so put together but in an effortless way.  They had style but weren’t slaves to seasonal trends.  I’d like to think that my hats transcend the fads—just like a great pair of shoes.

Having studied fashion “forever ago,” Amy found her niche in art direction. But for the girl who adamantly wore lace tights growing up in the more conservative Thailand, there was a creative void that needed to be filled. Plus, the lady needed a hat. “A while back, I was looking for a hat and I couldn’t find anything I liked, so I decided to take my first class in millinery. I fell in love with making them and haven’t stopped.” Over the years she’s developed an aesthetic that is a subtle, almost quirky play on the classics. Certain styles come with an asymmetrical brim or offset dipped molding, that toys with proportion.

Working out of her apartment in Brooklyn, Amy creates each piece by hand – blocking felt on vintage molds. Each mold is then hand sewn while leather and ribbon trim are cut to measure and dyed. Her current collection offers rich tones in navy, burgundy, camel and smoke. Finally, each hat is adorned with uniquely treated hardware, from vintage jewelry to belt buckles ("I’m not into new shiny things"). But what Amy is into is the intrigue a woman exudes underneath that sleek brim. Is she hiding from a dark past like John Crawford in A Woman’s Face? She may seem coy under that hat but what if she’s devising a vengeful ploy, like Linda Darnell in Day-Time Wife?

I have always loved hats.  They make you a little more mysterious and alluring don’t you think?  They draw people in — I always need to take a second look at the person who’s under there. They also finish an outfit and give a little more polish to your look. Plus, they are great if you are having a bad hair day.

So whether a quick fix on a rainy day or a touch of glam to your look, heed these words and add an Amy Lehfeldt piece to your hat collection.

I myself have twelve hats, and each one represents a different personality. Why just be yourself? — Margaret Atwood, novelist

To discover more of Amy’s work go to:

Brooklyn Collective, NYC

Cake Boutique, Park City, UT

Editorial photographed by Jayme Thornton

Produced and Styled by Izzy Ruiz for The Cannon Media Group

Hair and Makeup by Rob Harmon for CK One Cosmetics at Anderson Hopkins

Featuring Bay Berger at Muse NY, Ford LA