How did you get into the industry?
I’ve been in love with fashion ever since I can remember. My mother, who is and was always very elegant and glamorous, used to own a bookstore when I was a little girl. I would spend days in the bookstore and use every moment to read fashion magazines like Vogue and Harper’s Bazaar. My love for fashion never faltered and I went on to study in Florence. Then moved to LA 15 years ago and started a clothing line that was sold in Barney’s NY and Fred Segal.
What is a typical day like for you?
I start my day around 7 a.m. My husband Oliver and I take our dogs out (Chikis and Papi) and then we sit and have a coffee and a little breakfast together. We go over what’s going on for the day and then I’ll head to the studio. Some days I spend mostly with the production team to ensure design and quality is right. I spend the rest of the day either in meetings or with friends and bespoke clients that come in. My day is always different.
Tell us about your office.
I truly love our space. It’s open and beautiful and allows us to move around freely with plenty of room for creativity, which is at the heart of design.
When we were looking for a new space, we wanted to find something suitable to incorporate art and furniture. We partnered with art consultant Esthella Provas & Assoc for the art and Minotti for the “bespoke platform”. I love the art—my husband and I collect art and have many friends in the art world who we support. It’s a huge influence on me and my design.
Do you have any favorite items around your office?
My books. I have a small library of fashion, art and photography books that I’ve collected over the years that I use for reference and inspiration. They’re my treasure chest of ideas.
What’s the best part about your job?
I love the creativity and opportunity to share my love of hats and their importance to a well-rounded wardrobe, but also collaborating with my clients. I also get to meet the most interesting people, people that share my passion. They keep me inspired and make me feel proud of the work I do.
I’ve seen hats make a difference in people’s lives; some have met companions and made great friends, conduct business deals and all kinds of things from just wearing a hat which helps in starting a conversation. A hat builds confidence and shows confidence. And most importantly, I feel that I’m helping to revitalize an old craft that was being lost, that I’m helping to preserve and expand on tradition.
What designs are you best known for?
For women, ‘The Bianca’ is like the little black dress that goes with everything and really shows off my design and technique. For men, ‘The 205’ (the hat Johnny Depp wore performing at the 2012 MTV Movie Awards) because it works well from the front and back, it’s very masculine and has plenty of detail. It’s truly just deluxe luxury.
For a more in-depth look at the making of Gladys’ hats as well as more celeb stories, click here!