Childhood best friends Molly Yestadt and Jane Pincus are the designer duo behind Yestadt Millinery. Based out of a small studio tucked away in New York’s SoHo district, the artisanal hat makers first gained widespread recognition for their collaboration with Marc by Marc Jacobs back in 2009. Given the pair's penchant for creating modern, yet elegant designs – often infused with a sense of whimsy – it comes as no surprise that their work has continued to attract an impressive number of collaborators since then, among them Thom Browne, 3.1 Philip Lim, WHIT, Vena Cava, and Rafael Cennamo to name a few.
It seems the only thing longer than Yestadt’s list of collaborators is their dynamic repertoire of headwear, which includes everything from panamas to berets, fedoras to turbans. "Some time last year we created a huge Mohawk of striped peacock feathers. It’s pretty neat."
Dazed Digital: When did yourself and Jane meet and decide to start making hats?
Molly Yestadt: Jane and I have been friends forever. I believe we were twelve and that Jane was dressed up as a Dutch settler and myself as a Navajo Indian. After graduating, we both found ourselves in the fashion industry and were each other’s sounding boards. Molly has been making hats for about six years, and we started the company over three years ago.
DD: Do you think hats have anything special to offer over-and-above other types of apparel and accessories?
Molly Yestadt: Definitely! I was recently introduced to Stephen Sondheim’s Finishing the Hat and it’s so touching and true. This is cheesy, but you can really create a world within the hat; it sits atop the head and frames the face. This can mean a plethora of things: it can draw attention away, or bring onlookers near, it can bring confidence and attitude that no other accessory really can.
DD: What sort of materials did you use in your S/S12 collection?
Molly Yestadt: For spring, we worked with a lot of Japanese waxed straws. It’s such a gorgeous material in its raw state, so we worked to highlight the simple elegance of the straw.
DD: Is that "Bad Girls" by Dev Hynes in your S/S12 video lookbook? He lives in New York and is always wearing a hat, maybe you should make one for him...
Molly Yestadt: Yes, Dev Hynes is usually sporting a cap and, in fact, we have one for him right here! We were privileged enough to work with Blood Orange on a soundscape for last season’s Spring presentation which Matt Kliegman artfully used in the video.
Text by Stephanie Malik