Barbara Feinman Millinery

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Coordinates: 40°43′38.51″N 73°59′13.04″W / 40.7273639°N 73.9869556°W / 40.7273639; -73.9869556

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Barbara Feinman Millinery is a custom hattery in New York City's East Village. Feinman hats are made by two other milliners using a 100-year-old sewing machine and various materials.[1]


Feinman studied English at Vassar College and worked 20 years in corporate jobs before taking a millinery class at the Fashion Institute of Technology and switching careers.[2] Her work has been described as elegant and of "impeccable" workmanship with a "dash of whimsy".[2]

The store[edit]

Feinman sold her hat designs through retailers until opening her shop in 1998.[2] The millinery store is a member of the nine store Designers of the East Village Association or (DEVA) group. It is located in an area that has "a history of anarchy, counterculture and edginess."[2]

The store is unusual in having hats made on site. Feinman works with business partner, Julia Emily Knox and milliner Katherine Carey to "hand-block and hand-craft hats from start to finish using techniques and equipment scarcely changed since the 19th century".[2]

Styles range from fedoras to cloches and fur hats,[3] as well as retro film noir and cocktail hats with face veils.[4] The hats start at a price of $250.[1] The store also stocks jewelry, and sunglasses.[2]


Barbara Feinman Millinery was number four in New York Magazine's 1998 Christmas shopping guide "50 Great New Stores" list and included in the "New York Magazine Shops — A Guide to the Best Stores in New York" in 2000. Customers range from uptown matrons to Japanese tourists.[2] Brookelynn Starnes from the show Cloak & Dagger said she wears Barbara Feinman's Panama-style hats.[5]

Comments on hat wearing and buying[edit]

Feinman suggests trying hats on when shopping for them because "two hats can look the same, but a small difference in proportion makes a big difference when worn" and to "stay away from small hats if you have big hair" in favor of a "loosely fitting hat that that frames [the] face."[3] Her motto is "If you want to stand out, wear a hat,"[6] and she has said that "There really is no substitute for a handmade hat."[2]



  1. ^ a b The Eye; Value proposition March 2009 page 32 Forbes Life
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h Sandra Jamison Positively 7th Street Dec. 18, 2000 Time
  3. ^ a b Sharon Bridbord Mad about hats October 11, 2004 Baltimore Sun
  4. ^ Barbara Feinman Millinery listings New York Magazine
  5. ^ Lauren Murrow Cloak & Dagger’s Brookelynn Starnes Envies Your Harem Pants Interview May 26, 2009 New York Magazine
  6. ^ Teran, Andi. "Shops We Love: Barbara Feinman". Retrieved 2009-08-09. 

External links[edit]