Barbara Feinman Millinery
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. Her work has been described as elegant and of "impeccable" workmanship with a "dash of whimsy".
Feinman sold her hat designs through retailers until opening her shop in 1998. 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."
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".
Styles range from fedoras to cloches and fur hats, as well as retro film noir and cocktail hats with face veils. The hats start at a price of $250. The store also stocks jewelry, and sunglasses.
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. Brookelynn Starnes from the show Cloak & Dagger said she wears Barbara Feinman's Panama-style hats.
Comments on hat wearing and buying
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." Her motto is "If you want to stand out, wear a hat," and she has said that "There really is no substitute for a handmade hat."
- The Eye; Value proposition March 2009 page 32 Forbes Life
- Sandra Jamison Positively 7th Street Dec. 18, 2000 Time
- Sharon Bridbord Mad about hats October 11, 2004 Baltimore Sun
- Barbara Feinman Millinery listings New York Magazine
- Lauren Murrow Cloak & Dagger’s Brookelynn Starnes Envies Your Harem Pants Interview May 26, 2009 New York Magazine
- Teran, Andi. "Shops We Love: Barbara Feinman". refinery29.com. Retrieved 2009-08-09.
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