Last week, we went to MODEPALAST, the Vienna fashion fair to be, to talk to one of our favorite designers of the moment: Piers Atkinson. Piers makes hats for the brave, and we talked to him to find out all about him.
We can say that Piers has been brought up among crafty, artistic women. His mom makes hats, his grandmother was an artist, and it’s in-between these two influences that Piers learned to make hats, press flowers, cut feathers, create things.
However, it took a while before these crafty beginnings brought piers to be a hat designer. After a few experiences in fashion magazines, journalism and PR, Piers ended up creating his first collection as a fun project. That was 8 years ago, and people and celebrities still love his creations, one collection after the other.
Piers Atkinson’s inspiration comes from everywhere, especially from the places and atmospheres he experiences. For example, some of his baseball hats featuring pompoms come no less than little girls’ hairstyles on the way to school.
The fun side of things is easy to spot in this collection, but other future projects will include a very diverse range of emotions. “I’m actually quite angry at the moment, believe it or not,” said Piers. “The fashion industry has become almost monopolized, it’s very difficult for small designers to have room. Big design houses are so powerful. This sort of anger will come out in my next collection.” When asked how is he planning to represent his anger, Piers answered: “I think it’s going to have something do to with butchery.” Well, we’re looking forward to seeing that one.
Daring & fun
“When we do a collection, we do some pieces which are show pieces, more daring and thought for popstars. For sales, we do a toned down version. However, the fun part is central also in sales. You know, if you put on a hat you either want to party in it or keep the rain off.”
Piers Atkinson’s collection at MODEPALAST included mostly headbands and baseball hats, each and every one of them sporting its own signature embellishment: My Little Pony parts, colorful pearls, veils, pompoms and, of course, supersized cherries. There’s no room for boredom in this collection: Piers makes hats for fun, fashionable people, and, of course, lots of celebrities.
“Celebrities want to stand out, to be something different, to lead in style. I think this is what these hats are about: doing something new, confident and courageous. Rihanna, Lady Gaga…these hats fit with their bold and outstanding performances and style. And, of course, it’s great advertising!”
Hats for women who make themselves
It’s not just women who like to wear bold outfits on stage. “I like to dress women who have made themselves. I grew up with a family of women and I certainly never ever thought of women as vulnerable, the weaker sex or passive or any of these things that culture tends to fix women into. Often if a woman is strong is called a ball-breaker or she is said to be imitating men. Not in my experience. She is a woman making money, writing great journalistic pieces or creating an incredible performance. Strong, proud, assertive, intelligent women are who I want to make hats for. Women who are not scared.”