A New Kind of Hat - Camille Côté
How did you get into fashion?
I always loved fashion. My mom said that I began to draw clothes at 4 years old. I remember that at 8 years old I started to sell my creations on the street. I named my best friend my associate! So at 16 years old, I left my little hometown to get fashion classes. After that, I worked for 2 years in the industry and 4 months in Paris in haute couture. When I got back to Montreal, the only thing I wanted was to be my own boss. Then I started to create fashion collections and gradually hats collections as a self-taught designer.
As a designer, what are your major influences?
The first designer I admired is Yohji Yamamoto. He is one of my biggest influences. Not just for his designs but mostly for the way he broke socials codes. He was a fashion rebel in his strong years. He drove me to listen to myself and never follow the rules of the society. My designs appear in my head like I don’t know where they come from. As I am an introvert, I like to watch every kind of person, and see how they dress. This is really inspiring to me.
What is your design philosophy?
My philosophy is to create designs for women who aren’t enough represented by the fashion industry. I strongly belive in innovation and thinking out of the box.
You invented a new style of hat, how did that come about?
First, I wanted to design clothes, then I started to make hats in my little basement that was my apartment at that time. I was a part-time waitress to focus my free time on my designs. Once I quit my waitress jobs, I became a bit depressed and without revenue. But at that moment, the best was to come... During a sleepless night, I tried to make a traditional hat. Nothing worked as I wanted, I wasn't able to get rid of a pleat at the back of the hat. I decided to cut it off! To finish, I sew an elastic on it. It was a flat back hat, surprisingly cool. I named it the cropped hat. I just kept it that way and made all my collections that followed with integrated elastics. Today, the brand is known for this signature. The best part is that my clients found it very functional. It sticks on the head when it’s windy, women can drive their cars and live their busy life without frustrations and the majority of our customers are black women because the stretch hat comfortably fits their hair. It is the perfect hat for day-to-day life.
What are you currently working on?
I am always running millions of projects at the same time! I am developing the next summer collection and we are about to do the photoshoot for the lookbook, which is a part that Iove to do. We are also ready to release the FW18 collection. I can’t wait to showcase this collection.
What can we expect from Camille Côté over the next few years?
The most surprising collaborations, many more point of sales around the world and maybe a clothing line. Cropped hats will be everywhere!