When we think of Made in Italy, we usually assume that family traditions, ancient techniques and heritage are naturally involved. SuperDuper Handmade Hats are the exception. The Florence-based company produces entirely handmade hats using unique wooden shapes.
The three designers have interesting, diversified backgrounds: Ilaria Cornacchini is an architect with a post-graduate fashion education, Veronica Cornacchini is an industrial designer and dancer and Matteo Gioli is musician and graphic designer. They have all studied fashion and technology in Italy and abroad, between Polimoda in Florence and Eindhoven University of Technology, but the common entrepreneurial activity was born around an old hat-maker's wooden shape—with which they each fell in love.
The shape is definitely among the most interesting aspects of SuperDuper style. The ratio between the volume of the hat and its brim stands on the edge of disrespecting tradition, but the balance remains perfect; like in JR and Triplet styles for men and Lolanda and Sibilla for women. The quest for innovation in such a traditional field manifests itself in Mercurial, one of SuperDuper's signature designs. A felt hat that comes in three pieces, each section of the hat can be attached to another allowing for all kinds of variation. Color plays an important role, and gives birth to unorthodox and playful contrasts.
Felt is not the only material they put to use. The Pineapple—a leather cap whose texture recalls that of the fruit—is made using a process that creates small folds and creases from one single piece of very thin leather through a special pleating technique. The hat is very soft to the touch and surprisingly lightweight. Other styles make use of colorful feathers, like Sylvie and Susette. For the next spring/summer season, SuperDuper will continue to push their hay hats—another Florentine tradition the brand likes to reinterpret with their own distinctive touch.
Images courtesy of SuperDuper Hats