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?