It all started with an old wooden hat block found in a flea market. Almost as in a fairy tale, this vintage inspiration gave birth to a far-reaching Made in Italy story that changed the lives of Veronica Cornacchini, Ilaria Cornacchini and Matteo Gioli and became SuperDuper Hats. Driven by a passion for hats and inspired by their 2010 flea market find, a period of hard work started for the friends as spent hours learning the milliner’s trade from Italian artisans.
Today the result is SuperDuper, a line of hats hand made in Tuscany. Known for exquisite details, SuperDuper Hats are born from hours spent transforming high-quality raw materials into authentic handcrafted accessories. We reached out to the three designers to learn how they have managed to follow in the footsteps of Italian hat-making tradition while still carving out their own contemporary path.
To what degree do you feel bound to Tuscany? Is there somewhere else in the world where you feel at home as well?
Even though only one of us is from Tuscany, we all feel a strong attachment to this place because, with its long tradition of hat-making, it has been such a fertile ground for the launch and success of our project. That’s why we could never really claim to feel at home anywhere other than here.
Aside from your passports what makes you Italian designers?
We think that above all it is our detailed approach to refinement.
What do you think are the advantages and disadvantages of being Italian in your line of work?
We were born in a land of exceptional craftsmanship and high quality products which is a big advantage. At the same time, it’s very difficult to be a startup in Italy nowadays, it’s like trying to walk through a bush of thorns.
Hats have always been symbols of elegance and are often associated with a glamorous past. How do you manage to combine this tradition with innovation in your collection?
We do it by drawing the best, in terms of quality materials and handiwork, from the past, but without creating mere replicas. Instead we try to create a completely contemporary and meaningful product.
Recently, you won the prestigious Who is on next? 2013 prize at the Pitti Immagine Uomo trade show. How important has this honor been for you in terms of your career on the one hand and personal satisfaction on the other?
Beyond all the good things that this victory might bring in terms of our career, nothing can match the joy it brought us. After so much work, that was really the best reward of all.
If you didn’t have to think about time, money or success, on what project would you like to work?
Without a doubt our most ambitious project on both a professional and a personal level is Super Duper Hats and we would like to develop it even further. It unites us despite our personal differences and right now all of our energy is dedicated to making it work.
Your hats are completely handmade. How do know that a piece is finished? When can you tell that a hat is SuperDuper?
What guides our work is the idea that we are designing and making the product for ourselves. After all we started out by making hats for our own heads!