Hats to the Stars

[Photos: Ari Seth Cohen, Text: Maayan Zilberman]
We met this gorgeous woman in the East Village as she was walking across the street with her family. Ms. Miyano Hiraki, 80, was surprised we stopped her but was excited to share stories about her hat and accessories, especially since we have lots in common having both moved to NYC to be artists. When Ari and I complimented her glamorous hat (and of course her guts to wear it amongst more casually dressed friends), she lit up and told us it was an original design from when she designed hats for designers such as Pierre Cardin, Valentino, and Oscar de la Renta.
Ms. Hiraki moved to New York from Tokyo 40 years ago to work as a milliner, and she says “I love wearing hats because they can tell so much about you.”
She took the hat off and generously tried to give it to me, but I couldn’t bare to let her part with such a work of art. We’ll have to make a date to see her studio and archives… right?
  • Oh how lovely lady! I love her hat, and that whole outfit, very inspiring actually 🙂


  • She's so sweet! I find soft colours are so flattering for older women….

  • I would LOVE to see more of her work!

  • Ms Miyano Hiraki is a very beautiful woman, beautifully dressed with an eye for colour and splash of delightful humour.

    Now THAT is style.

  • Gorgeous. I'd love to see and read more about her. She sounds fabulous!

  • evalyn

    Yes, please go to her studio. Making hats is a secret desire of mine. I would love to see her work.

  • Love the Blog.
    Be sure to follow mine at tuxandtie.blogspot.com and follow me on twitter at tuxandtie
    Thanks Alex http://www.alexingram.com

  • Aw, this is just too sweet for words! <3 And by the sounds of it, so is Ms. Miyano Hiraki!

    Do you have her contact information? It would be so interesting if you ended up meeting her again to see her studio and archives!

    And she offered you her hat? Awwww. <3 Seeing people like this just gives me faith in the kindness of people!

  • Suella

    Abolutely want to see more. I'm just growing up enough to enjoy wearing hats. I think the co-ordination of color with lipstick and jewelery means a lady with a great sense of style and a great sense of what suits her as well.

  • Wish I had been there so she could have given the hat to me! LOVE the hat–she is so cute~

  • Anonymous

    Everything about her ROCKS! Yes, more pictures and an interview with her at her studio please.

    Susan in Vancouver

  • Beautiful woman. Beautiful hat!

  • Anonymous

    A living doll! Get thee to her studio, STAT.


  • Oh my gosh! This is the coolest concept for a fashion blog! These are some beautiful (and likely very wise) people…

    new follower!


  • sandra

    She's beautiful,the hat is gorgeous. what can I say. Go on…you know you're looking good. Thanks Ari for sharing her and I'd like to see more of her.

  • The hat is wonderful…and yes, please DO visit her studio.

  • What a beautiful lady with an interesting life which shows on her face and in her eyes.
    This blog is so inspiring and fun to read, finally real people with real style and personality!

  • She looks very good. Sometimes women's hats can ruin a look but in this case it looks fine.

  • I like this Lady and her hat. She looks proud and she is very courageous. Pity! I'am living in Berlin so I can not visit her!
    Greetings from Susanne

  • Anonymous

    Just a living doll! Why do we tend to think mature women(and men)should hide themselves away and not try to look amazing?

  • Joel

    she's beautiful