Brookes Boswell started her craft under the mentorship of another Manhattan-based milliner in 2009. New York, like the rest of the country, was in the middle of a deep recession with jobs being scarce. While Brookes had started making hats as a hobby, she said, “ it just seemed obvious, to me anyway, that I should pursue starting my own millinery label.” Brookes officially launched her own label in 2012.
When creating new designs and crafting her hats, Brookes is inspired by her background, which is in architecture and interiors. “But I also love vintage and contemporary fashion, textiles, and crafts for everything from aesthetic and color palette to specific construction techniques and detailing.” One can see Brookes’ attention to construction techniques and detailing in her work. Each hat is handmade in her Brooklyn studio (occasionally with her pup Bao in attendance), and the attention to detail is readily apparent. She looks for such detail-oriented products when she shops as well, “The HDH swim knot top and high waisted bottoms treated me so well on a recent vacation. They were really perfect!”
You can find Brookes’ most recent collection for sale on her website, www.brookesboswell.com. “I also keep all of my past lookbooks available as those hats can still be made too. Emails for questions or custom orders are welcome, and if you’re in New York (soon to be Portland, Oregon!) you can make an appointment to try on the hats in person!” Check out the stockist list to find a store with a Brookes Boswell hat in your area.
You can follow Brookes on Instagram and Twitter @brookesboswell.
Photos by Natalie Chitwood.