The Flapper hat with Genevieve Xhaet
Italian-Belgian designer Genevieve Xhaet has created a line of high-quality headwear pieces inspired by the fashion of the 1920's flappers. Although traditional in its structures, the Flapper brand takes a modern twist on this early trend. Genevieve uses unique colours and styles while collaborating with other creatives such as the contemporary artist, Alessandro Agudio. Having had the opportunity to visit the Flapper studio in Milan, I was able to meet the designer behind the brand. Beautiful and elegant, yet with a strong professional edge, Genevieve Xhaet described to me the history of the hats and her inspirations behind them.
How did you get involved in fashion?
I studied fashion styling at Istituto Marangoni in Milan and then worked at numerous fashion brands such as Jil Sander, Malo, Hlam, Cruciani and Malo. It was when I worked at Barbisio, the Italian hat manufacturer, that my love for hats grew. Two years later, I created my first hat line using felt, and then started to get bored of this material and experimented with different materials to create unusual hats, which resulted in the brand Flapper.
Where are your hats made?
I have all my hats produced in the Italian town of Biella, where I grew up. Biella is famous for its fabric mills, with brands such as Ermenegildo Zegna and Loro Piana producing their garments here. This ensures my accessoiries are produced from the highest quality.
Are your hats only for women?
It’s funny as I always worked in menswear fashion before I started Flapper, yet almost all of my hats are designed for women! However, some of my designs are unisex and can be worn by men as well.
For what occasion is a Flapper hat?
A Flapper hat can be worn for both formal and casual occasions. For example, you can wear the turban with jeans and a sweater, whereas the more formal turban with embellishments, can be worn for the evening.
Do you have a personal favorite Flapper hat?
I love all my accessories, but if I had to choose, I would say the black turban with the reflective stripes (seen below).
Where do you get inspiration from for your designs?
Art. Together with my boyfriend we founded INCURVA.org, a cultural association that aims to improve art in Sicily and so I meet a lot of artists through this. Every year I also make a hat collaboration with a different artist.
What has been one of your most proud moments?
Collaborating with Emanuel Ungaro. I made four turbans which were featured in his 2018 Resort Capsule collection.
If you could have any celebrity wear one of your hats, who would it be?