One of the last remaining milliners in New York, Patricia Underwood has collaborated with Ralph Lauren, Calvin Klein, Marc Jacobs and more on custom runway creations. This week, Rizzoli is releasing a new book titled “The Way You Wear Your Hat,” which combines images from the designer’s own archive with iconic editorials by photographers including Richard Avedon, Irving Penn, and Bruce Weber. Here, the legendary designer explains how she got her start, reveals her style icon is, and more:
How did you become a milliner?
I took an evening class at FIT because I could not find a hat that I liked that fit me. I had no idea that would be the beginning of my life’s work. Suddenly the light switched on!
What is the most rewarding thing you’ve produced over the years?
My daughter, Vivecca—whose birth coincided with the beginning of my career. Working with each designer is a unique experience. When hats and clothes go together, that is the best result of collaboration.
Who is your personal millinery icon?
What do you have planned for the next 40 years?
To keep the hat in Manhattan… and take it elsewhere!