by Marie-Christin Tripolt

Some accessories should be found in every fashionable person’s closet: hats for example. They can easily elevate your outfit without trying too hard and give you some edge. Jute talked to the designer and founder of Demure Amsterdam to talk the brand and fashion independent hat creations:

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Who founded Demure Amsterdam?
I opened demure studio/shop in September 2016. Before that I was taking orders mainly for occasion hats. Since then it has been a one-man band.

When was it founded?
Official launch was September 2016 when I opened the shop.

What’s the story behind the brand?
Since I was a child growing up in Japan, making something by hand had always been my passion. My grandmother, who comes from kimono fabric business family was always my inspiration and she was the one who
introduced me to the world of fabrics/materials. However, conservative approach to education and career where I grew up (Japan) and lack of assertiveness on my end meant that I followed the conventional route to go to university and start my work in corporate environment. However, turning point came when I moved to London (initially for my study and then marriage) and then met a milliner Prudence (who has been making hats for Vivienne Westwood). I had a professional training in a creative field (millinery) for the first time in my life and my wish to work in more creative world started grow rapidly.

After my husband and I decided to leave corporate environment in London and live in Amsterdam for a more diverse lifestyle, my dream to start my hat business became reality. It took me so much time and courage to make a 180 degree change but I am happy that I did so. Actually, entrepreneurial spirit of people of Amsterdam helped me so much to make this step and for this reason, despite influences of different places I have lived, I see demure as a Dutch brand.

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How do you come up with new inspiration?
I am always overwhelmed bits of inspirations that I pick up from so many different things on daily basis. It can be a piece of fabric, something I see in a child’s craft shop, An old paintings, workmen/sportsmen’s outfits, really anything. It has always been a big challenge for me to incorporate all the inputs to process and make all the hats that I want to. I simply too many ideas for one person to turn into all the products! So it is always hard to track each of inspiration to the origin as they are always jammed inside my brain.. One thing I’m sure is that I probably won’ t have problem producing new collections for the foreseeable future.

How long does it take to make one of your unique hats?
It depends on the material, process that I have to take and other factors. The most time-consuming piece I have ever made is a small headpiece made with feathers and it took me roughly 120 hours. I had to separate small tips of feathers one by one and sew it on a small base also one by one (A smaller version can be seen in one of the AW18 campaign images).

Who do you see wearing your hats?
All my customers have their own eyes to judge quality and and the cares I take to make the hats. They also know exactly what they want instead of what big brands tell them to wear. At the end of the day, demure is still an unknown brand which doesn’t have the ‘label tag being worth thousand euro’s on its own’ so only those people will trust my ability buy hats from me and I try my utmost not to disappoint them. My connection with my customers are therefore much more personal.

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What is it that makes Demure Amsterdam so special?
No compromise on the quality of material, time-consuming handwork, personal care and uniqueness of designs.. And such pieces are used by my customers for a very long time. I have customers coming back with their own demure hats for maintenance and small design changes (trim swap etc). That’ s why I don’t produce any design in more than a few pieces nor have a webshop. It also allows me to stay creative and let my inspiration lead, instead of ending up producing ‘safe products’ in hundreds and become emotionally tired. I would love my customer to feel comfortable, confident, aware of quality and unique.

Do you have a favorite piece? If so, which one?
I pretty much like each one of them equally while never being 100% satisfied. I always ‘it’s nice but..’ and that is the drive to continue. It sounds great but can be exhausting sometimes as both our body and mind do have limit.

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Where can we get your unique hats?
My own shop and a few other nice boutiques/concept store in Amsterdam.

What type of hats will be big next season?
Last couple of months, I had a chance to see what will be ‘big’ by seeing all the runway shows for SS19. By then, I had already finished with production of my own SS19 and some of the sun hats that I made may have similar features to the trend including use of printed fabric. However, as far as my customer base (mainly NL based) is concerned the gap between the ‘official’ trend and their trend can be quite large. I however hope that my flexibility in designing will enable to produce something which will make my customers feel comfortable as well as a bit ‘trendy’.

For SS19, my collection will be called ‘Beach wedding, its guests and the morning after’. It is however not a bridal collection. I love some of the latest trend in bridal fashion, which is a lot more relaxed and is more about being ‘YOU’ instead of being a ‘princess for a day’. So they are all in relaxed and happy styles, clean and light. If the question was about whether I am fully aware of the trend forecasting, the answer is no, to be honest. I used to do some research on the upcoming trend to incorporate it into my collection but after realizing that it only restricts my ideas and I end up with somehow not cohesive collection (failing to strike balance between the trend and my own feelings), I gave up on studying the trend.Editorial fashion, fashion magazine, fashion magazines, fashion magazines that accept submissions, fashion magazine submissions, fashion magazine submissions, fashion publication, Jute Fashion Magazine, Jute Magazine, Jute Mag, online fashion magazine, online fashion publication, online magazine, submissions, submission magazine, submission fashion magazine, style, fashion, editorial, model, New York, NYC, New York Magazine, NYC fashion magazine, New York fashion magazine, Amsterdam, Netherlands, Demure Amsterdam, millinery, hats, Marie-Christin Tripolt

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