LONG ISLAND CITY, Queens — Designer Eric Javits has crafted hats for some of the world’s most glamorous stars like Sarah Jessica Parker, Serena Williams, Margot Robbie and Viola Davis, but you don’t have to be a rich celebrity to enjoy his casual style . land styles.
Javits has certainly come a long way since he was a student at Buckley School on the Upper East Side.
He trained as an artist but accidentally stumbled into hat making.
The designer made his first hat for a friend so he had a better chance of getting into Studio 54 during the heyday of disco in the 1970s.
“We heard there would be hundreds of people in line, so I said, ‘Mimi, I’m going to make you a hat, and we’re going in’, and sure enough, we Have done!” said Javits.
When he started, Javits was warned that making hats was a “dying business”, but he didn’t listen.
Now, thanks in part to his efforts, the hat has survived as it thrived.
Her work spans the generations between Barbra Streisand and Jennifer Lopez.
Her hats have graced the likes of Lady Gaga and Madonna. “It’s wonderful validation,” he told entertainment reporter Sandy Kenyon during a recent visit to his studio in Long Island City, “and I know I’m doing a great job then.”
Javits has become the go-to hat maker for everyone from Emily Blunt for a Mary Poppins poster to Kim Kardashian to Beyonce.
“Beyonce was being honored as a fashion icon at an event. She was surrounded by bodyguards so I couldn’t approach to greet her, but I held up a picture of her that I I had in the phone to let her know I designed this hat, and she said I love you,” Javits said.
Then the superstar gave Javits a kiss!
He also designs handbags and shoes with practicality in mind.
This mix of cool and functional is epitomized by the Squishee hat he invented.
Javits explained to Kenyon that it’s “the best example of a packable sun hat because you can roll it up and bend it like that, and it springs back.”
A Javits hat is handcrafted and finished with great care down to the final fabric finish.
Everything he sells is guided by his original mission. “I just wanted to kind of change and modernize the whole thing to be viable for today’s women with busy lives and active lifestyles.”
Javits is a modest guy.
In fact, if you blink while watching her vacation video, you’ll miss her appearance. His great-uncle was Senator Jacob Javits (R-NY) after whom the Javits Center is named, but he never made much of it, simply telling Kenyon that he grew up surrounded by elegant women and that they had inspired him.
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