the new SS15 collection from Johannesburg based milliners Simon and Mary has made me realise that i really need a yellow hat for summer. and a blue one. maybe even a green one if i’m feeling fancy. i love seeing their classic styles in such rad colours.
when i was in NYC last year (it feels so long ago now, waaaaah!) i noticed girls wearing hats everywhere. i love it. i have not had the guts to wear one myself. not that you need guts, of course. but if you’re not used to wearing hats – besides on the beach – it’s quite a weird accessory to get used to. but once you do, you rock that shit.
Born out of the great millinery tradition of New York City, Brookes Boswell Millinery was founded in 2009. Brookes Boswell started her studio after an apprenticeship with one of the city’s longtime milliners. Her background in architectural design, fine art and textiles, give Brookes a keen eye for precision, a love of fine materials and an appreciation for the construction techniques used in the trade.
Simon and Mary is a Johannesburg based millinery that i have been following with eager anticipation on Instagram, where they have slowly been releasing imagery from their AW14 campaign, launching this year. Simon and Mary has a 70 year history, beginning in 1935 when Simon Pozniak’s father Mordechai brought his cap factory from Poland to Johannesburg. Simon grew the business into Africa’s most renowned wool felt hat factory, and today the fourth generation Pozniak, Dean, is continuing his legacy. the name Simon and Mary comes from Simon’s pet name for his beloved wife Leah, he read the book War & Peace while recovering from heart surgery, and Mary is the lead female character.
Simon and Mary was started as a tribute to my grandparents, built on their history of the finest millinery traditions, family values, craftmanship and creating opportunities that contribute to society. Inspired by the styles created by Simon in the past, we aim to constantly reinvent the hat for the modern hat lover. The milliner title has been passed down from generation to generation. Hats are in our blood, it is more than a clothing item, but rather a way of life.
the first feather in the proverbial felt cap of Simon and Mary is being invited to exhibit at Berlin’s Bread and Butter expo, the only South African brand to do so. it’s being held from 14-16 January, so if you’re in the area and you’re keen to see their wares visit their website for more info.
their AW14 campaign features young professionals, artists, curators, sartorialists, creative spirits, entrepreneurs and hat lovers who love, work and play in Joburg. photographed by Aimee Pozniak and Gareth Place.
i know i complain about our endless summers a plenty – it’s not the sunshine that gets me, it’s just the heat guys! i revel in the short winter months where i get to wear stockings and scarves and coats and things made from wool. i must admit though, it never gets that cold. i don’t think i have worn gloves in south africa more than a handful (…) of times in my entire life. that does not mean i wouldn’t buy a pair. it would probably just end up sitting in a drawer all sad and lonely, waiting for the cold.
if that day ever comes i would definitely not mind rocking a pair of wool gloves from argentinian label nido (i would also like one of those peach jerseys, please). their pieces are handknitted with 100% sheep wool which is “made from a women cooperative located in Mary Grande, a village near of Paraná, Entre Ríos. they shear their sheep, produce the fleece, spin them by hand on wooden distaff and dye the wool with colors extracted from nature: blackberry, onion, locust bark, eucalyptus leaves.”
every spring day (sept 1st) at our primary school there would be a ‘spring hat’ competition for the younger kids. don’t ask me why, but we all took it pretty seriously. well, perhaps i didn’t take it AS seriously as some of the other seven year old girls – whose MOMS made their hats. needless to say, i didn’t win. it was a sad day for my my little ponies.
(my mom was probably laughing hysterically when she took this photo, bless her.)