Hats off to Sofya Samareva

This year, Sofya Samareva, designer and connoisseur for the art of traditional hat craft, released two new collections during the fashion seasons of FW17 and SS18.

During FW17, we saw the release of Samareva’s hat collection, shown in conjunction with Malaysian designer Moto Guo’s eponymous menswear label. The designers introduced their collections together at the men's fashion week at the Armani Teatro in Milan, and were even pleasantly surprised by a personal visit from Giorgio Armani himself.

Moto Guo approached me in the summer. He learned about my work by meeting someone on the Parisian streets with my hat on their head. ‘Your work is so quirky, same as mine’ […] we have decided to create the next collection on FW17 together. […] We had a great understanding and within three months I created a collection that was sitting on his clothes […] I was even lucky to meet Giorgio Armani himself, who cheered the spinning propeller on his hat.
— Sofya Samareva

Initially, Samareva’s main design inspiration comes from the adventurous and rebellious nature of youths. The three eccentric hat models from her collection channel all that alludes to childhood curiosity, playfulness and fun seeking. One model has a propeller shaped directly from its mold. The second one is a hat with a huge peak hunched upward as a clear attribute of the rebel with the soul of the child, cute and provocative at the same time. The third, and final, model is widely known as the "Propeller Hat", with a propeller and a small torch that can be controlled.

Hats play a very important and meaningful role in our collection. They are one of the main motifs. Sofya’s co-operation therefore had the same meaning as if I had a dream come true. […] As for the Propeller Hat, it’s a dreamlike add-on that I’ve always wanted. The great admiration of the collection with hats was also awakened by the buyers in the showroom.
— Moto Guo

Then, at this year's 32nd prestigious fashion festival in Villa Noailles, world-renowned fashion industry professionals were charmed by Samareva’s SS18 collection. Judged by designer Pierre Hardy, Samareva placed second, winning the silver medal, in the Fashion Accessories category – featuring for the first ever time as a competition category. The candidates consisted of more than a hundred registered projects from over 20 countries. The director of Hermès jewelry, Laurence Reulet, and fashion editor at ELLE US, Samira Nasir, were also amongst the representatives of the nine-member jury at the competition.


The SS18 collection, Something Unreal in the Real World, has subtle undertones that relate to the author's favorite paintings or toys from childhood. Made from 100% rabbit felt, Samareva was passionate about the use of bright, block colours on her hats, as well as the functional yet eccentric which the playful appeal.

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The project was initially created in 2014, and incorporates playful interpretation on traditional headwear. In February 2016, the hat collection became part of the Czech fashion show at Last Fata Morgana in London, which won the Country Award at the International Fashion Showcase 2016, the official London Fashion Week accompanying event.

Text: Holly Alderson | Photo: Designer's Archive